Page last updated at 04:50 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 05:50 UK

Five killed in Karachi shoot-out


Pakistani police say they have killed five militants linked to a Taliban leader in the city of Karachi.

The police chief said the shoot-out took place after officers raided an apartment in the west of the city.

The militants were loyal to Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and were planning attacks, he added.

The raid comes as the military prepares to launch an assault against Mehsud's group in the South Waziristan region, on the Afghan border.

The military is also battling militants in the Swat valley to the north.

But there are fears the militants could be leaving these areas to launch attacks in Pakistan's cities.

"We raided the house on a tip-off that militants were planning attacks in the city," Karachi police chief Waseem Ahmed told Reuters news agency.

"As we reached near the house, they opened fire. Our force returned the fire and five militants were killed."

Correspondents say Baitullah Mehsud is thought to head the most powerful group of militants in Pakistan, with a network of alliances with other militants.

His stronghold in South Waziristan is an area considered by many to be the hide-out of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

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