Security forces stormed a counter-terrorism center in the remote northwest district to free several security officials who were taken hostage two days ago.
Pakistani security forces stormed a counter-terrorism center in a remote northwest district to free several security officials. Taken hostage two days ago by armed group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The fate of the hostages inside remains unclear as forces on Tuesday were still trying to free the entire compound in Bannu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.
Security sources told Reuters news agency that forces had retaken the center, although the military or government has yet to issue a statement.
Six security officials and several inmates were inside the center, the sources said, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
“The operation is coming to an end and there is no more resistance… security forces have entered the compound,” a security source said.
He said details of the hostages and casualty figures would be made available once the clearance operation is complete.
About 20 fighters from the TTP – also known as the Pakistani Taliban because of their links to the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan – were holed up at the center, reports said.
“All options failed and the terrorists refused to release innocent people, so we decided to use force,” a senior security official told the news agency on condition of anonymity. Name.
Reporting from the capital Islamabad, Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder said loud explosions were heard as black smoke rose from the compound after the security operation.
Hyder said TTP fighters are demanding a safe passage to Afghanistan.
“They wanted to take the hostages with them and promised that they would release them when they were safe and in a safe area,” he said.
Pakistani authorities on Monday opened talks to resolve the stalemate with the militants.
The TTP emerged to force the government to enforce strict interpretation of Islamic law in the country, to ensure the release of its members who are in government custody, and to reduce the military presence in tribal areas. before.
group has attack boost across Pakistan since the country announced an end to a Taliban-brokered ceasefire with the Afghan government last month.