Pakistani military concludes rescue operation

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rawalpindi - The last militant was arrested on Sunday as the Pakistani military announced the end of the operation against a group of armed militants inside the military headquarters.

The military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said that head of the group, Aqeel alias Dr Usmand, was arrested with critical injuries.

Abbas said the Pakistani military commandos recovered 42 hostages, among whom five were civilians, adding that two security forces personnel and three hostages were killed in the operation.

He said four militants were also killed in the operation launched at 6am local time (0000 GMT).

"The two armed men were also wearing suicide jackets but they could not explode the bombs due to quick action by the army commandos. The commandos started clearance operation after the rescue operation was over."

The army spokesman said the gunmen had exchanged fire with the commandos for a long time.

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

On Saturday, a group of over 10 armed militants, wearing army uniforms, attacked two army check posts and killed six soldiers, and then held several security men hostage at the army headquarters.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik congratulated the military on the successful operation to get hostages free. He confirmed that four terrorists were killed in the morning operation.

He said that the attackers had been living in a house in the outskirts of Islamabad for two months and had planned the attack there.

Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, which also killed six soldiers including two ranking officers.