25 terrorists killed, 3 soldiers martyred in Bannu CTD operation

The security forces had secured the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) building in Bannu, killing all of the 25 terrorists who had seized the facility after taking hostages inside the building, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed late Tuesday night.

At least three security personnel were martyred during the operation, including a subedar major who was taken hostage by militants in the CTD compound.

While providing details of the incident, Director General ISPR, Major General Ahmed Sharif told that 33 terrorists were under investigation in the CTD compound on Dec 18. One of them overpowered a constable on duty in the CTD complex and got his other allies freed.

“As soon as they came out of lockup, the terrorists got more weapons from the mall and started firing,” the DG ISPR said, adding that terrorists killed one CTD constable and injured another.

“The injured constable later died in hospital.”

According to DG ISPR, while one of the security officials present inside the complex was taken hostage, other security personnel instantly reached the site after they heard the sound of firing and surrounded the complex. 

Subsequently, two militants were killed in the exchange of fire while three, trying to escape, were arrested and two security personnel were injured as well, as per Gen Sharif.

“Our forces surrounded the entire area and thwarted any attempt by the terrorists to escape. In the last 48 hours, there were all-out attempts for an unconditional surrender from the terrorists who were demanding safe passage to go to Afghanistan.”

The demand was totally rejected and since the terrorists were not ready to surrender, security forces eventually launched an operation in the CTD complex on Tuesday and thus the rooms were cleared out after heavy exchange of fire, according to the DG ISPR.

“This operation is a testimony to the Pakistan Army’s bravery and mission against terrorism,” Gen Sharif said.

PM Shehbaz condemns terrorist attacks

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned terrorist attacks in Bannu and other parts of the country and vowed to crush the “wicked effort” of creating chaos in the country through “terrorism.”

“The state will not bow before any terrorist group and terrorists will be dealt with according to the constitution and the law,” the prime minister said in a statement. “Terrorism is a sensitive national security issue, which requires collective mindset and strategy.”

He said the federation will work together with provinces to fight “terrorism.”

Deteriorating law and order in KP

The law-and-order situation across the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has deteriorated with a surge in terrorist attacks since the TTP announced the end of an Afghan Taliban-brokered cease-fire with the government last month.

The siege of the CTD center on Sunday came on the same day when militants attacked a police station in Lakki Marwat, killing four Pakistani police officers, leaving another four critically wounded.  On Monday, a suicide attack in North Waziristan killed at least two passersby and a soldier.

On Tuesday, the TTP claimed of attacking a police station in Wana city in South Waziristan, killing two policemen and capturing weapons. However, the police denied the claims of deaths, saying only one officer had been wounded in the attack.

At least 118 terrorist attacks have been reported in the province from mid-August till the end of November, killing at least 26 policemen, 12 personnel of other law enforcement agencies and 17 civilians. Moreover, 18 policemen, 10 civilians, and 37 law enforcement agencies personnel were injured in these attacks.

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