Sources said, after 24 days of operation Zarb-e-Ahan against Ghulam Rasool alias Chotu, the feared dacoit along with his gang-members laid down his arms and released the captives. The 24 police hostages have been handed over to the army.

The Chotu gang seemed to be on the defensive after the army took over the command of Operation Zarb-e-Aahan on Friday evening and launched an offensive under a new strategy.

The army gunships targeted the criminals’ hideouts on early Saturday.

The army had given the final warning and deadline to the gang members to release the hostage policemen and surrender themselves to security forces.

The Pakistan Army on Monday formally launched a full scale operation against the Chotu gang, after the group refused to release the hostage policemen and surrender to security forces.

At least seven policemen were killed and over 24 abducted as the authorities launched the drive against criminals in the area in the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing that killed over 60 people at a Park in Lahore.

The Operation Zarb-e-Aahan continued in the Katcha areas of Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur districts for 24 days.

Sources said security forces have launched search operation with the assistance of three helicopters in the area.

Security forces have shifted Chotu to an undisclosed location, sources said.