Pakistan: Detained militants take over counter-terrorism centre in Bannu district
Officials claimed the situation was under control and an operation to retake the facility is underway.
Detained militants inside a counter-terrorism centre in Pakistan’s Bannu district on Sunday took over its compound and held hostages, Dawn reported.
The militants, who were kept at the facility operated by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police, managed to break out of the lockups and fired at the security personnel. The militants have demanded safe passage to Afghanistan, according to the newspaper.
Two security personnel were injured, unidentified officials told Dawn.
A purported video clip showing a militant holding a security official at gunpoint was also widely shared on social media. He demanded a safe passage to Afghanistan and warned of dire consequences if his demand was not met.
Another militant could be heard saying eight to 10 security personnel were in their captivity. He also claimed that 35 detained militants have broken free.
“We broke the jail and the security men are in our captivity and they will be released safely if we are provided a safe exit,” he added.
Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, the special assistant to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, claimed the situation was under control and an operation was underway to retake the facility.
Internet services have suspended in the district following the incident and the roads leading to and from the Bannu Cantonment have been blocked, reported GeoNews.
4 police officers killed in Lakki Marwat
In a separate incident, four policemen were killed and four others were injured after militants attacked a police station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lakki Marwat on Saturday night, according to Dawn.
Lakki Police spokesperson Shahid Hameed said that the militants attacked the police station at midnight.
Hameed told Dawn that more than 60 policemen were on duty at that time.
“The policemen engaged the militants for almost 45 minutes after which the attackers escaped, taking advantage of the darkness,” he said.
Pakistan President Arif Alvi denounced the attack on the police station. He also expressed resolve to continue efforts to completely eliminate the remnants of terrorism.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the entire country salutes the huge sacrifices made by police officers and soldiers in their fight against terrorism. “Those who have been shielding the nation against terrorists are our heroes,” he added.