According to officials police, Rangers, Elite Force commandos and Counter-Terrorism Department personnel were taking part in the operation against bandits, codenamed Zarb-i-Ahan.
In the fighting, which has been continued for 15 days, five bandits and six policemen have been killed, while around 150 facilitators of the gang have been detained. Three policemen have also been injured in the operation.
According to sources, the bandits have taken more than 30 policemen including SHO Bangla Achha as hostage. Kachi Jamal and Kachi Moro police posts have also been in possession of the bandits’ gang.
Scores of Indian made weapons have also been captured from the possession of the arrested bandits, officials said.
According to media reports, the district police has requested to the Punjab IG to provide them two military helicopters for the strikes.
The forces have made announcement in the area asking women, children and other people to evacuate the riverine island in the Indus and move to safer places, a police source said, adding that hundreds of people, mostly families of the bandits, had been living in the area bordering Sindh and Balochistan provinces for decades.
River forests along Indus
The river forests in Sindh and southern belt of Punjab have remain a hotbed of bandit gangs involved in kidnappings and other crimes on the both banks of the Indus River. These areas are inaccessible and virtually remained a no go area for police and other law enforcement agencies- thus remain an ideal refuge for the outlaws in the region.