In an operation, all 33 terrorists who had overpowered security personnel at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) facility in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, were slain, according to Defense Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday. The operation took three days to clear the area.
The federal minister informed the National Assembly that when the Pakistan Army’s Special Service Group (SSG) conducted an operation earlier today, 10 to 15 soldiers had been hurt and two had been martyred.
The operation was carried out, according to the defence minister, by a Special Service Group (SSG) unit of the army, in which 10–15 of its commandos were hurt and two were killed.
According to Asif, the Special Service Group started the operation on December 20 at 12:30 p.m., and by 2:30 p.m., the CTD compound had been completely cleansed of all terrorists.
Six TTP members were reportedly killed, and a clearance operation was in progress at the security complex, according to earlier reports. All hospitals in the district were also placed under emergency status by the authorities.
As negotiations to end the stand-off with the extremists stalled, the hostage situation entered its third day.
All public and private educational institutions in the district have been ordered to remain closed today because no progress was made and the atmosphere in the town remained hostile. This decision was taken by deputy commissioner Bannu.
All roads leading to Bannu Cantt were blocked off to traffic, and police officers were stationed at the barriers. The cellphone network in the area was also shut down by authorities.
Khawaja Asif jibes at KP government
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administration “totally collapsed” as a result of the incident, according to the defence minister, who also criticised PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
The bad part of this, he remarked, “is that terrorists is once again making headway in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.” Although there have been cases of [terrorism] in other provinces as well, it is abundantly obvious that [in KP and Balochistan] terrorists from abroad or locally are on the rise once more.
“These 33 had connections to other groups and were being held in connection with this incident. The provincial administration wholly disregarded its duty to prevent the CTD”.
In addition to saying that the provincial government played “no involvement” in the operation, Asif gave the army credit for carrying it out. This represents nine years’ worth of failure for the provincial government in question.
The KP government has completely collapsed, he claimed.
In the meantime, a brief statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that information about the operation would be released soon.