Pakistan: Militants holed up in Bannu counter terror compound killed

Bannu, Dec 20 (INS) Security forces have gunned down the terrorists holding hostages inside the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound in Bannu in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Forces are however further combing the area to search for and neutralise any terror threats still hiding out there, security sources told Geo News on Tuesday.

The fierce exchange of fire left several security men injured, according to sources, Geo News reported.

The forces had launched an operation to free the hostages taken by militants in the compound earlier today. Officials, privy to the development, shared that a clearance operation is underway.

Geo News had reported that columns of smoke could be seen rising from the compound, while a gunbattle raged on inside.

Schools have already been shut down in Bannu on the orders of the deputy commissioner. The hospitals have been put on high alert and mobile services have also been blocked in the area.

The operation was launched after Taliban terrorists stormed the CTD compound in Bannu and held hostages on Sunday.

To end the standoff, the Pakistan government started talks with the leadership of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan. It was confirmed by Mohammad Ali Saif, spokesperson of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

government, Geo News reported.

The sources had claimed that the terrorists are demanding a safe air route to Afghanistan.

The law and order situation in KP has gone south over the last few weeks as an increase has been noticed in threats and attacks on security forces as well as high-profile political personalities.

According to a The News report, the police are on high alert across the province after the recent spike in attacks in areas including Peshawar, southern districts, and the Mardan region.

The publication, citing a source, said: “Apart from the police, senior politicians have complained of receiving threats. The houses of some of them have also come under grenade attack.”

Provincial spokesperson of the Awami National Party (ANP) Samar Bilour has also shared that their provincial president Aimal Wali Khan had received a call about a plan of attack on his life.

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