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Pakistan

Bannu CTD: situation remains tense as militants seize counter-terrorism centre

  • Members of the outlawed TTP are demanding safe passage to Afghanistan
Published December 19, 2022
Police stand guard along a road they blocked after militants seized a police station in Bannu on December 19, 2022. Photo: AFP
Police stand guard along a road they blocked after militants seized a police station in Bannu on December 19, 2022. Photo: AFP

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government warned of strict action as the hostage situation in the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in Bannu continued on Monday.

Reports suggest negotiations have started amid the ongoing operation to clear the centre, Aaj News reported.

More than 30 members of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have been holding several officers hostage after breaking free from custody and seizing a police station, officials said. The militants had overpowered their jailers on Sunday and snatched weapons.

They took hostages to negotiate with government authorities, officials said. They fired at security personnel, injuring a policeman and a soldier.

A video posted on social media, which the government official confirmed to be from the scene, showed a group of armed men, with one threatening to kill all the hostages.

"During the interrogation, some of them snatched guns from the policemen and later took the entire staff hostage," he told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

"They want us to provide them safe passage via a ground route or by air. They want to take all the hostages with them and to release them later on the Afghan border or inside Afghanistan."

“It’s not clear if the terrorists attacked from outside, or if they snatched the ammunition from staff inside” while being interrogated following their arrest," Bannu police spokesman Muhammad Naseeb told Reuters.

Militants seize counter-terrorism centre in Bannu

The situation in Bannu has remained tense as police and security agencies cordoned off the cantonment area.

Internet and mobile phone services have also been suspended in the area.

On Sunday, KP government spokesperson Muhammad Ali Saif tweeted that no one attacked the CTD police station.

He said some of the accused in the station were under custody on the suspicion of terrorism, adding that they tried to snatch weapons from the security personnel at the station.

PTI blames govt, Ahsan Iqbal responds

In a series of tweets, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, whose party is at the helm of affairs in the province, criticised the centre, saying that apart from running our economy to the ground, the imported government has failed to deal "with the 50 percent increase in terrorism in Pakistan with incidents from Chaman to Swat to Lakki Marwat to Bannu".

“While our soldiers, police and local people are giving daily sacrifices with their lives, the worst part is that this increasing terrorist threat and attacks from across our Western border are finding no space in the discourse of this government of a cabal of crooks.”

Responding to his statement, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said the law and order situation in KP was the responsibility of the provincial government.

"CTD KP is in a rented building without even a grade 20 officer posted as DIG CTD. PTI would always make lame excuses for covering its shortfalls & criminal negligence."

Comments

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Iqbal Hussain Dec 19, 2022 08:54pm
This is all happening due our internal differeces and political parties' infighting and their struggle for safeguarding their own interests. Now this is the time we should either unite or face the consequences which we have see over the last decades.
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