Pakistani police say six policemen have been killed and 24 people taken hostage in the midst of a nine-day operation against a criminal gang in eastern Punjab Province.
Police said on April 14 that the hostages include some security forces. But they were uncertain how many civilians were among the hostages.
The operation was continuing on April 14, including a search for the hostages, on a jungle island used as a base by the so-called Chotu Gang.
Police said four leading members of the notorious Chotu Gang have been killed.
Authorities said gang leader Ghulam Rasool, also known as Chotu, has organized criminal activities in the border areas of the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan.
Earlier this month, Pakistani police launched an operation against militants and criminal gangs in Punjab, especially in remote areas of Rajanpur district, where militants and criminals have for years challenged the government.