Four suspected militants, including a woman, and a three-month-old-girl were killed during a raid by Pakistani paramilitary personnel in a busy area in Karachi.

A press statement issued by the paramilitary force said the seven-hour-long raid ended in the early hours of Tuesday, 25 April in Karachi's Urdu Bazaar area. All the heavily armed suspected militants were holed up inside a residential building in the locality.

Three suspected militants reportedly blew themselves up during the raid. The fourth one was killed by the security personnel while trying to flee. Four paramilitary soldiers and two civilians were injured in the operation. The suspects were reportedly planning to launch a major attack in Karachi.

When the security forces stormed the suspected militants' hideout, they quickly responded with grenades and automatic weapons sparking an intense gunfight. The apartment was identified after a "most wanted" accomplice was arrested by Pakistani law enforcement agencies, said officials.

Besides lobbing grenades at the Pakistani rangers, the suspected militants detonated three bombs during the raid. The three men have been identified as Muhammed Naeem Achakzai, Hameed and Muhammed Zahid. Hameed was thought to have been staying in the apartment for the past two months.

Local reports suggest they could have belonged to the outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhanvi extremist group though it is yet to be confirmed by authorities. A huge cache of arms, including automatic weapons, ammunition and grenades were recovered from the site after the suspected extremists were killed. The building has been cleared and security in the locality remains high.