Hyderabad: Police shot dead five terror accused as they tried to escape from their custody in Telangana's Warangal district on Tuesday when they were being brought to Hyderabad, police said.
Policemen opened fire when the accused tried to snatch a weapon from a policeman in the vehicle near Pemburti in Jangaon mandal of Warangal district, about 80 km from here.
Viqaruddin Ahmed and his four associates, involved in the killing of two policemen and several other extremist offences, were killed in the incident that took place between 10 and 10.20 a.m.
A police official said the accused attacked policemen and tried to snatch weapons when the vehicle was stopped to enable them to attend nature's call.
"They tried to snatch weapons from police and raised slogans. In the scuffle, there was an exchange of fire in which five accused were killed," Deputy Inspector General of Police Malla Reddy said.
A policeman fell on the ground in the scuffle and sustained minor injuries.
There were 17 policemen escorting the accused involved in several offences. The police identified them as Viquaruddin, Mohammed Zakir, Syed Amjad, Izhar Khan and Mohammed Haneef.
While Haneef, an Ayurvedic doctor was from Gujarat, other accused hailed from Hyderabad or other parts of Telangana.
Police cordoned off the scene of offence on Warangal-Hyderabad highway, leading to traffic jam.
The bodies were later shifted to a hospital in Jangaon, where an autopsy is being conducted.
The accused were arrested in 2010 after a series of attacks on police in Hyderabad.
According to police, Viqaruddin had links with various terror outfits and was involved in several incidents. He had also floated militant outfit Tehreek Galba-e-Islam (TGI).
They were shifted to Warangal Central Jail in 2011 after they attacked a prison official in Cherlapally Jail in Hyderabad.
Viqaruddin continued picking up fights with staff in Warangal Jail. He also had fight with policemen escorting him and other accused to the court.
Viqaruddin and his associates had attacked policemen in the old city of Hyderabad between 2008 and 2010 to avenge the police firing on people protesting after the bomb blast at historic Mecca Masjid in 2007.
The attacks on the anniversary of the blast had kept Hyderabad police on tenterhooks for long.
Police claimed that they had also shot dead a policeman in Gujarat in 2007 while looting a bank.
The incident occurred close on the heels of a gunfight in Nalgonda district on Saturday in which two operatives of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and a policeman were killed.