Militants seized a Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in Bannu district on Sunday and took hostages to negotiate with government authorities, officials said.

Special assistant to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on information Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif said no one had attacked the police station, rather, some suspects in custody under suspicion of terrorism tried to snatch weapons from security personnel deployed on site.

“The situation is under complete control. Security forces have cordoned off the area,” he said, adding that an operation was underway and would be completed in a while.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer in Bannu requesting anonymity told Dawn.com that around 25 arrested members of banned terrorist organisations were under arrest and interrogation at the CTD centre when they took the guns from seven security personnel on duty and took them hostage.

“Three policemen injured have been evacuated and transported to a hospital,” the officer said, adding that a number of personnel were still in a hostage situation.

MPA Samar Haroon Bilour addressed the situation and said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was “on fire”.

“Police and civilians are totally like sitting ducks. How sad that those who have been ruling here for nine years cannot open their mouths. Those who can’t even condemn can never control that which they have imposed on us,” she said, referring to the PTI government.

The development comes hours later after militants attacked the Burgi police station in Lakki Marwat early on Sunday morning, leaving four policemen dead and injuring as many.

Lakki Police spokesperson Shahid Hameed told Dawn.com that more than 60 policemen were on duty at that time. He said that the policemen engaged the militants for almost 45 minutes after which the attackers escaped, taking advantage of the darkness.

While no group has taken responsibility for the attack, the police suspect the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as the group is known to operate in the area.

The TTP called off its ceasefire agreement with the government on Nov 28, ordering its militants to stage attacks across the country, according to a statement from the outfit.

The statement said that the TTP’s decision was taken after “a series of non-stop attacks were launched by the military organisations in Bannu’s Lakki Marwat district”.

Early this month, the Nacta told a Senate panel that the peace talks with the proscribed outfit “emboldened” it and allowed it to regroup.

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