Pakistan - Militants storm northwestern jail, take hostages - ednews.net

28 January, Saturday

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Pakistan - Militants storm northwestern jail, take hostages

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Islamist militants seized a jail in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday and took hostages to negotiate with government authorities, officials said.

The prison is located in the Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan. Authorities say the prison is for individuals involved in terrorism-related offenses.

Bannu police spokesman Muhammad Naseeb told the Reuters news agency, "It's not clear if the terrorists attacked from outside, or if they snatched the ammunition from staff inside" while being interrogated following their arrest,

What do we know about the incident?

Another official told Reuters that 15 militants had overpowered interrogators inside, grabbing their weapons and taking five or six of them hostage.

The compound was surrounded by security forces, officials said.

The militants, whose affiliation is not yet known, shared a video with the media and said they had freed around 35 militants and had taken around 10 security officials hostage.

Militants want safe passage out of country

The men said they wanted to negotiate a safe passage to neighboring Afghanistan, ruled by the hardline Islamist Taliban.

The storming began hours after four policemen were killed in an overnight attack by the militants in the Lakki Marwat district of the province.

Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which associates itself with Afghanistan's Taliban.

The Taliban has been trying to broker peace talks between the Pakistani government and the TTP but after the militants pulled out of talks last month, there has been a surge in attacks on security forces.

A spokesman for the TTP did not immediately confirm or deny a link with the militants in the compound.

DW



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