Pakistani security forces killed four Taliban militants in the eastern city of Lahore hours after a truck bomb killed one person and wounded 22, authorities said on Tuesday.
Attacks in Pakistan’s second-largest city have decreased over the past couple of years but Islamist militant groups are still active there, including a suicide bombing last month that killed 25 people.
A spokesman for the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) said the department was following up information that militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, were planning an attack on Lahore police.
Counter-terrorism officials formed a blockade near the bomb site on Monday night where they exchanged fire with suspected Taliban militants.
“The terrorists started firing at CTD officials who took precautions. When firing stopped, 4 terrorists were found dead while 3/4 fled away taking benefit of darkness,” the spokesman said in a statement.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and it was not clear whether the militants killed were responsible for Monday’s bomb blast but police officials said that they were not ruling out a connection.
Authorities recovered one body near the blast site on Monday night after initially saying there had been no casualties.
“Yesterday’s blast left one dead, whose body was recovered from rubble of a nearby collapsed house… A huge quantity of explosives was used in the truck,” Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmad Khan told Reuters.