Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif confirmed on Tuesday that all the 33 terrorist suspects, who had captured a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) centre in Bannu last weekend, were killed in an operation conducted by the Pakistan Army, local media outlet Dawn reported. The hostages were freed with some receiving minor injuries.
As per the report, all the 33 members of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were under arrest at the centre. They snatched weapons on Sunday and overpowered the jailors.
As per the defence minister, the Special Service Group (SSG), which is a unit of the army, carried out the operation. He also said that two of the commandos were martyred, and over a dozen were injured.
SSG stormed the centre reportedly when hostage takers had differences over the handling of the captives. Witnesses reported blasts and heavy firing after SSG entered the compound.
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Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told parliament: “All the hostages have been freed. Ten to 15 men from the SSG (special forces) including an officer were wounded while two were martyred.”
“This operation was initiated on December 20 at 12:30pm (local time) by the Special Service Group and all terrorists were killed,” Asif added. The minister stated that the entire CTD compound was cleared by 2:30pm (local time).
He explained how the siege unfolded, and said, “There were 33 terrorists from different groups who had been arrested and jailed in the counter-terrorism department compound. One of them hit his guard on the head with a brick while going to the toilet and snatched his weapon.”
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