LAHORE: Law Minister Punjab, Rana Sanaullah has said that Chotu gang in Kacha area of Rajanpur will either have to surrender or be eliminated within the coming 24 to 48 hours.
Speaking to media here Friday, Rana Sanaullah said the gang will not be allowed to get away.
He said elimination of crime is the responsibility of police force and Chotu gang will be eliminated soon.
The provincial minister confirmed eight police personnel have sacrificed their lives in the operation.
The Minister said the government is providing all necessary resources for ongoing operation against the gang.
Police spokeswoman Nabeela Ghazanfar told Reuters seven of the gang´s leaders had been killed by police and eight injured, while six police officials had died and seven were hurt in clashes.
Policemen were among the 24 hostages, she added.
The battle is taking place near Rajanpur, one of the poorest districts in Punjab.
Authorities said the gang was led by Ghulam Rasool, also known as Chotu, a longtime criminal active in the border areas of the provinces of Punjab and Sindh.
Army troops have also been sent to rescue policemen held hostage by a notorious group of gangsters in south Punjab.
Soldiers were dropped by helicopters in the area surrounded by hundreds of policemen as operation entered eighteenth day.