All militants dead as security forces clear Bannu CTD centre
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All the militants who have taken control of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) centre in Bannu have been killed and the forces have managed to clear the detention centre, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
According to reports, the security forces have cleared the CTD centre’s compound and all militants have been gunned down in the operation.
Sources said that after the failure of talks with the militants, the security personnel launched an operation.
Plumes of black smoke could be seen arising out of the CTD compound following the sound of a forceful blast that came from the Cantonment area.
Sources said that a fierce exchange of fire also continued from both sides.
Late Sunday, more than 30 militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) overpowered their jailers in the CTD centre and snatched their weapons. They took control of the building and took a number of law enforcers hostages. They had also fired upon the security personnel, reportedly injuring a CTD man and a soldier.
The militants had demanded a safe passage to Afghanistan in return for releasing at least eight police officers and military intelligence officials, said Muhammad Ali Saif, a spokesman for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
The district's deputy commissioner also announced that schools would remain closed on Tuesday.
"We fear that the Taliban could enter any school in the suburbs and take the students hostage. We are not taking any risks and that's why we decided to close the schools for today," said a senior government official in the district who asked not to be named.
The police station is within a cantonment area in Bannu.
Offices and roads have closed and checkpoints have been set up around the area.
Pakistani officials have asked the government in Kabul to help with the release of the hostages, the senior government official told AFP.
Overnight on Monday, at least 50 Pakistan Taliban militants stormed another police station in Wana -- also close to the Afghan border and some 200 kilometres south of Bannu -- according to local government and senior police officials, both of whom asked not to be named.
The group locked up police officers and seized weapons before border force troops moved in to take back control.
The TTP claimed responsibility, saying two police officers were killed.
Authorities have not officially acknowledged the incident.
The TTP emerged in 2007 and carried out a horrific wave of violence in Pakistan that was largely crushed after a military operation beginning in 2014.
However, attacks are on the rise again following the breakdown of ceasefire between the TTP and the government.
Input from AFP