Bannu operation: Militants wanted safe passage to Afghanistan

Terrorists detained at the Bannu Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) took advantage of reduced number of guards on Sunday to overpower their captors and wanted safe passage through to Afghanistan.

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This was detailed by newly-appointed Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Ahmed Sharif.

Briefing about how the CTD complex fell into terrorist hands and how it was retrieved, he said that the CTD had apprehended as many as 34 suspected terrorists who were being detained at the complex and were subject investigations.

On Sunday, December 18, the terrorists managed to overpower a constable on guard duty. They took his gun and then freed their 34 associates.

After breaking out, they raided the armory for as many weapons they could find and tried to then fight their way out of the complex.

In the ensuing exchange of fire, one CTD officer was killed while several others were injured. One injured CTD officer later succumbed to his injuries during treatment at a hospital.

Junior commissioned officers, who were there to interrogate the suspects, then became hostages of the very suspects they were supposed to interview.

Security response

Upon hearing gunfire emanating from the CTD complex, security forces in the cantonment rushed to the spot and surrounded the complex. This prevented the terrorists from fleeing.

In the initial skirmishes with security forces as they attempted to escape, two terrorists were killed while three others were arrested.

Two security forces officials were also injured.

A stalemate then ensued with the security forces negotiating the release of the hostages whilst demanding the peaceful surrender of the terrorists.

The terrorists refused to give up their arms or surrender unconditionally. Instead, they demanded safe passage to Afghanistan.

With the terrorists unwilling to surrender, the security forces planned and executed a precision operation.

Pakistan Army’s Zarrar Company launched the operation at 12:20 pm.

During the operation, in which two soldiers embraced martyrdom while 10 others were injured – including three officers.

The troops killed 25 terrorists, three were arrested and seven surrendered.

Three security officials were martyred during the operation including Subedar Major Khursheed Akram, Sepoy Saeed, and Sepoy Babar.

Injured soldiers

As per the statement, the injured were identified as Major Abid (splinter in left leg), Naib Subedar Zafar (gunshot wound in left chest), Haveldar Waryam (Splinter in Left leg), Naik Muhammad Akram (Gunshot wound to right hand), Naik Abdul Qayyum (splinter in left leg), Sepoy Haleem (gunshot wound to the head – critical), Sepoy Adil (multiple splinter injuries – critical), Sepoy Irfan (Gunshot wound to left shoulder), Sepoy Shahid (Gunshot to right hand), Sepoy Sadiq (splinter in left leg), Sepoy Sufyan (splinter), Sepoy Uzair (splinter left leg), Sepoy Zuhair and Sepoy Khalil.

After the operation, a clearance and search operation was launched in the area.

As per the statement released, 11 militants have surrendered and they were shifted to Bde Detention Cells (BDC).

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