According to Pakistan's defense minister reporting to parliament, a special forces unit raided the counterterrorism center in Bannu on Tuesday, killing all the 33 members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who earlier this week overpowered guards and killed two of the hostages at the facility.
Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the rest of the hostages, whose exact number was not clear, had been freed in the rescue operation. Asif said 15 Pakistani forces were wounded by the TTP militants in the rescue operation.
Mohammad Ali Saif, a government spokesman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said the hostage-takers had been given a chance to surrender themselves before the raid, but they had refused to.
Earlier reports said the hostage-takers were holding at least eight security personnel, and had requested that the Pakistani officials grant them safe passage to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, there were reports of thick black smoke coming from inside the compound after two explosions were heard as the raid got underway on Tuesday.
Gunshots were heard across the area for two hours, officials said.
Prior to the Pakistani forces' raid, a video posted to social media on Monday, which the government official confirmed to be from the hostage-taking scene, showed a group of armed men threatening to kill all the hostages.
In 2012 and 2013, dozens of heavily armed Taliban fighters freed more than 600 prisoners, including hardcore militants, during two sophisticated overnight operations targeting a prison in Bannu.
Source: Press TV#Pakistan about 3 days
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