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Pakistani forces retake anti-terrorism centre seized by TTP militants

security forces have re-taken a counter-terrorism interrogation centre two days after militants seized it, security sources said, adding that all hostages, some slightly wounded, had been rescued.

Security forces told Reuters news agency on Tuesday that they were still looking to clear the entire
compound after launching the operation to free the hostages from
the Pakistani Taliban militants who snatched interrogators’
weapons and took their captives on Sunday.

Six security officials and several detainees were inside the
centre, said the sources, who declined to be identified because
they were not authorised to speak to the media.

“Good news is we successfully recovered all the hostages from the terrorists. Some of them are slightly injured but they are fine,” one security official told Reuters, adding that some security personnel had also been wounded.

“The operation is being concluded and there is no more resistance … the security forces have entered the compound,” he said.

Initial reports said nine security force personnel had been wounded.

The fate of the militants who had seized the compound was not immediately clear.

The military and the interior ministry did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ MORE: Militants kill official as police station siege in Pakistan continues

Safe passage

Security forces had surrounded the military district in which the centre is located in the northwestern town of Bannu, where about 20 fighters from the Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), were holed up.

“All options failed and the terrorists refused to free innocent people, so we decided to use force,” a senior security official told Reuters earlier.

He said minimum force would be used to ensure the safe release of the hostages.

According to an update from another security official, the army’s elite commando unit, the Special Service Group (SSG), had been called in to carry out the operation.

Residents said they heard explosions coming from the vicinity of the centre on Tuesday.

Pakistani authorities on Monday opened talks to try to resolve the stand-off with the militants.

The TTP are loosely affiliated with the Afghan Taliban.

The TTP has stepped up attacks since it announced the
end of an Afghan Taliban-brokered ceasefire with the government
last month.

According to a provincial government spokesman, the
militants were demanding safe passage to Afghanistan.

A member of the Pakistani Taliban earlier told Reuters that
the group’s leadership had lost contact with their people in the

“We are told that a military operation has started,” he said.

Suicide bombing claimed by TTP kills, injures several in western Pakistan

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