All the hostages are freed as the Anti-Terrorism Center is recaptured by Pakistani forces
Security sources reported that all the hostages were rescued after the Pakistani security forces recaptured, on Tuesday, the Anti-Terrorism Investigation Center, two days after the terrorists seized it.
The security forces are clearing the entire compound after the start of the process of freeing the hostages from the Pakistani Taliban fighters who snatched the weapons of the interrogators and captured them earlier Sunday.
Six security officials and several detainees were inside the center, according to sources who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
“The operation is ongoing and there is no longer any resistance,” a security source said. “The security forces entered the compound.”
He said that details about the hostages and the number of victims would be revealed after the clearance process was completed.
The army and the Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The security forces had cordoned off the military area in which the center is located in the northwestern town of Bannu, where about 20 fighters of the Pakistani Taliban, known as the Pakistani Taliban, were holed up.
“All options failed, and the terrorists refuse to liberate innocent people, so we decided to use force,” a senior security official told Reuters earlier.
He said minimal force would be used to ensure the safe release of the hostages.
According to an update from another security official, the army’s commando unit, Special Services Group (SSG), has been called in to carry out the operation.
Residents said they heard explosions coming from the vicinity of the center on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Pakistani authorities began talks in an attempt to resolve the confrontation with the militants.
The Pakistani Taliban is loosely allied with the Afghan Taliban.
The group emerged to fight the Pakistani state in the years after the United States and its allies intervened in neighboring Afghanistan to oust the Afghan Taliban and advance across the border into Pakistan.
The Pakistani Taliban has stepped up its attacks since it announced the end of a ceasefire agreement brokered by the Taliban with the government last month.
At least three people were killed and 23 others were injured In a suicide attack on a police truck In western Pakistan late November.
According to a spokesman for the provincial government, the militants are asking for safe passage to Afghanistan.
A member of the Pakistani Taliban told Reuters earlier that the group’s leadership had lost contact with its personnel in the compound.
“We learned that a military operation has begun,” he said.