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Police face murder charges after boy, 9, reveals killing of his family in Pakistan

Click to play video: 'Protests in Pakistan after police kill family of four' Protests in Pakistan after police kill family of four
WATCH ABOVE: A Pakistani investigative team on Monday began probing the police killing of four people in a car over the weekend, an incident which has outraged the nation and triggered a backlash against the police amid claims of brutality – Jan 23, 2019

Pakistani authorities have removed the commander of the counter terrorism police in the province of Punjab and will charge five police with murder over a shooting last week in which an innocent family was killed.

The incident on Saturday saw counter-terrorism officials open fire on a car they said was being used by an Islamic State leader in the province, Zeeshan Javed. He was killed along with three passengers – grocery store owner Mohammad Khalil, his wife and their 12 year-old daughter.

Relatives of a family killed by counter-terrorism officers mourn the family’s death, outside their home in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary

However, the official account of the incident was disputed by witnesses, including Khalil’s three other children, who survived the attack and discredited by video footage widely circulated on social media.

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Umair Khalil, 9, told a local TV reporter that his family was going to attend a wedding when the attack happened.

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The latest in a long series of episodes of alleged police brutality sparked protests in Lahore and drew condemnation from politicians including Prime Minister Imran Khan, who promised a clean up of the Punjab police.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said the provincial government had removed the head of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and three other officials who will all face disciplinary action.

“Initial report of the Joint Investigation Team for the Sahiwal encounter reveals that the CTD officials were responsible for killing Khalil and his family, who were innocent,” Basharat said.

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The five officers who shot at the car in Sahiwal town will be charged with murder and tried in an anti-terrorism court, he told reporters.

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With a file from The Associated Press

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