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GHQ hostage saga ends

GHQ fight endsThe last militant was arrested on Sunday as the commandoes of Pakistan army announced end of the operation against a group of armed militants inside the military headquarters.

Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Athar Abbas told media that head of the group, Aqeel alias Dr Usman, was arrested with critical injuries.

Abbas said that Usman who involved in attack on Sri Lankan Cricket team and Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf detonated explosives before arrest.

He said that the commandos of Special Services Group (SSG) recovered 42 hostages, among whom five are civilians. He said that two commandoes and three hostages were killed in the operation.

The spokesman said that four militants were killed in the successful operation. Abbas said that two armed men were also wearing suicide jackets but they could not explode the bombs due to quick action by the army commandos.

The operation for the rescue of hostages taken on Saturday noon was started this morning at 6.00 A.M and SSG commandos with their great expertise successfully completed the operation in merely one hour and, thereafter, a search operation had started.

The army spokesman said that the gunmen had exchanged fire with the commandos for a long time. “One wounded terrorist was captured. Now there is no terrorist left there. The operation is over,” Abbas said.

Sources said that the terrorists occupying the building had planted explosives at four places in order to blow it up if anyone tried to enter into the building, but the commandos did enter into the building in blitzing raid with great expertise and took action against the terrorists.

One militant resisted the troops for more than two hours and eventually detonated some explosive material, severely injuring himself and five Personnel of security forces, sources added.

Army helicopters were also seen hovering over the army headquarters as the commandos launched pre-dawn operation.

Earlier, sound of explosions and gunfire rang out when the troops moved into the building shortly before dawn. Ambulances were later seen rushing to the nearest hospital while army helicopter flew overhead with snipers on board.

Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has released the pictures of two terrorists who attacked on GHQ early Saturday. According to ISPR pictures of the two of the four terrorists, involved in attack on GHQ, have been released.

One of the four terrorists, killed during the attack was suicide bomber. His picture has also been released. The roads adjacent to GHQ including Mall road has been reopened for traffic after 24 hours.

On Saturday, a group of over 10 armed militants, wearing army uniforms, attacked two army check posts and killed six soldiers including included Brig. Anwar and Lt. Col. Waseem Ahmed and then held several security men hostage at the army headquarters. They took up positions, fired on the compound and threw hand grenades.

The military reported that the attack had been repelled after a gun battle lasting around 45 minutes but later admitted hostages had been taken.

‘There was fierce firing, and then there was a blast,’ said an eyewitness was standing outside the gate. ‘Soldiers were running here and there,’ he said. ‘The firing continued for about a half-hour. There was smoke everywhere. Then there was a break, and then firing again, he added.

The attack on the army came after a violent week. Last Monday, a suicide bomber attacked a UN office in Islamabad killing five members of staff, and on Friday a suspected suicide bomber killed 52 people in Peshawar.

In March, gunmen attacked Sri Lanka’s cricket team as it drove to a match in the city of Lahore and weeks later militants raided a police cadet college in the same city. Those attacks were blamed on the Pakistani Taliban, based in Punjab Province.

At least some gunmen who carried out the GHQ raid were believed to have been Punjabis. Some hostage takers’ phone calls were intercepted and they were speaking Punjabi, a private TV Channel quoted security official as saying.

In late April, the army launched an offensive in the Swat valley and largely cleared the Taliban out. The militants suffered another big blow on Aug. 5, when their leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a missile attack by a US drone aircraft. Baitullah’s successor Hekeem Ullah Mehsud vowed revenge last week.

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