KARACHI, Pakistan – A senior Pakistani police official says 12 militants have been killed during a shootout on the outskirts of the port city of Karachi.
The official, Rao Anwar, says seven of the slain men belonged to the Pakistani anti-Shiite Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group while five were from al-Qaida's branch in the Indian subcontinent.
Anwar told reporters Wednesday that the militants, who were killed in the past 48 hours, were involved in killings of civilians and attacks on security forces.
Anwar says officers recovered bomb-making material, guns and assault rifles from the hideouts of the slain militants.
Karachi is the capital of Pakistan's southern Sindh province, which has witnessed multiple terrorist attacks in recent years.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Pakistan's army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has ordered troops to launch the final phase an operation to purge militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border.
In a statement, the military says Sharif issued this instruction Wednesday during a visit to North Waziristan, where the army launched a massive operation to eliminate local and foreign militants in June 2014. The military claims it has now cleared 90 percent of the region.