Forces regain full control of Bannu CTD

The security forces on Wednesday regained full control of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) compound in Bannu, rescuing all the hostages in the facility as well as killing and capturing the terrorists holding them, officials in the town said.

The Special Service Group (SSG) of the army launched an operation against the militants on Tuesday after talks for their peaceful surrender and ending the siege failed.

The operation continued overnight and on Wednesday, the security forces cleared the centre of all the terrorists.

During the two-day clearance operation, three troops were martyred, while 27 officers and soldiers sustained injuries.

Officials said that most of the terrorists were killed, while 11 either surrendered or were captured by the troops and shifted to a secure location.

The siege of the CTD centre in Bannu began on Sunday evening, when a detainee overpowered an interrogator and snatched his assault rifle. The terrorist then freed other detainees in the facility, who later joined him, and took the staff inside the building hostage.

Senior police officials in Bannu had said on Sunday that two CTD officials were martyred.

The militants had demanded a safe passage either by land route or by air to Afghanistan.

The authorities refused their demand, asking them to surrender peacefully.

The siege lasted for four days while the operation lasted for two.

All public and private educational institutions in Bannu remained closed during that time period.

The army negotiated with the militants for two days.

After the negotiations failed, the SSG commandos initiated the clearance operation at 12:52pm after evacuating the area.

The operation was led by Major Abid, who had led the Army Public School operation on Dec 16, 2014 in which over 140 people were killed, mostly schoolchildren.

According to the information released by the Inter-Services Public Relations, 30 attackers in the CTD compound were killed in the operation while 11 alleged attackers surrendered and were shifted to a safe location.

According to the report, three security personnel, including Sepoy Saeed and Sepoy Babar were martyred, while 26 personnel were injured in the operation.

Major Abid, Major Waqar, Major Qasim, Captain Zargham, Captain Asad, Captain Kabir, Naib Subedar Zafar, Havaldar Zubair Ahmed, Havaldar Mujeebullah, Naik Muhammad Akram, Naik Abdul Qayyum, Lance Naik Nadeem, Lance Naik Hakeem, Sepoy Masood Ali, Sepoy Irfan, Sepoy Shahid, Sepoy Sadiq Noor, Sepoy Uzair, Sepoy Adeel, Sepoy Zaheer, Sepoy Khalil, Sepoy Nadeem and Sepoy Abdul Basir were among the injured.

They were shifted to Combined Military Hospital for medical assistance.

Apart from this, Subedar Major Khurshid Akram, who was taken hostage by the terrorists on the first day, was martyred as soon as the operation began.

Since the terrorists laid siege to the CTD complex on Sunday, Bannu Cantt had been completely sealed.

All roads leading to it remained closed.

During that time, educational institutions were closed in view of security concerns. Mobile service and internet remained suspended in the city and its suburbs due to which the people faced a lot of difficulties in contacting their loved ones and local journalists in accessing information.

People did not come out of their homes which had a negative impact on business.

People in the city are still facing a lot of hardships as security forces have been deployed on the roads, especially the entry and exit points.

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