The hostage situation in the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in Bannu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) continues after almost 17 hours as the militants occupying the compound of the police station on Monday reiterated their demand for safe passage to Afghanistan.

The militants reportedly control the entire police station compound.

As per reports, the body of a policeman, who was martyred last night by the firing of the militants, has been transferred to the police lines.

Roads adjacent to the CTD compound and Bannu cantonment have been closed to traffic due to the security situation in the area.

According to reports, the militants have appealed to Bannu’s scholars and leaders for talks.

“Innocent people are in our custody, our aim is to free our comrades, not to harm anyone,” a statement by the militants read.

A day earlier, at least two CTD officials were martyred and many more injured after a militant overpowered interrogators, snatched an AK-47 rifle, and opened fire inside the CTD facility.

The Bannu district police officer told The Express Tribune that the militant also freed other suspects being held in the building and they took control of the compound, taking several policemen hostage. The authorities later cordoned off the entire Bannu cantonment, he added.

In the meanwhile, militants purportedly released at least three videos in which they could be seen armed with AK-47 rifles and machine guns. In one video they showed a hostage and demanded the security forces to provide them with a helicopter to reach Afghanistan safely. The videos could not be verified.

Earlier, two police officials, while speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that about 15 militants took control of the centre after overpowering their interrogators inside, grabbing their weapons and taking five or six of them hostage.

In Peshawar, K-P government officials said that the situation was under “complete control” and efforts were being made to foil the “evil intentions of the criminals”. “There has been no infiltration in Bannu Cantonment,” a K-P government spokesperson claimed.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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