Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said all the 33 militants of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who had been under arrest at a Counter-Terrorism Depatment(CTD) centre in Bannu had been killed in encounter with the Pakistani army. The “terrorists” had allegedly taken hostages, reported Pakistani media house Dawn.
Asif informed the National Assembly that one of the militants had managed to snatch a gun from a CTD employee and used it to take hostages. This prompted the Army’s Special Service Group (SSG) to undertake a rescue operation in the afternoon, in which 10-15 of their commandos were injured and two lost their lives.
“The terrorists were eliminated and the entire CTD compound was cleared by 2:30 pm,” Asif said.
The government tried to negotiate with the militants to end the hostage crisis but after failed efforts, commandos from the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) stormed the compound.
The standoff began on Sunday when an arrested TTP militant snatched an AK-47 from a cop stationed at the CTD and opened fire. The militant was being interrogated inside the Bannu Cantonment at that time.
He then freed other militants who were being held in the building. Together, they took control of the compound and took several policemen as hostages. The TTP militants were demanding a safe passage to South or North Waziristan tribal districts.