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Feb 19, 1:43 AM EST

Pakistani police kill 5 militants in counter-terrorism raid

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MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistani police say that counter-terrorism forces killed five militants in an overnight raid and seized weapons and explosives from their hideout.

Nayab Haider, a spokesman for the counter-terrorism department, says Sunday that the militants were members of the banned Jamaat-ul Ahrar - which has claimed responsibility for several recent terrorist attacks.

Haider says the militants opened fire when police raided their hideout in Punjab province. Five militants were killed in the ensuing firefight, while four escaped. He says that maps recovered from the raid show the gang was planning attacks on shrines and an air base in Multan.

Police launched a massive counter-terrorism crackdown after a suicide attack last week at a famous shrine killed 88 people and wounded hundreds.

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