Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday congratulated Pakistan Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani on the “successful completion” of the operation against terrorists who occupied a military building, even as people celebrated the end of the hostage crisis.

Mr. Gilani telephoned Gen. Kayani on Sunday morning and “expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of the operation”, said a statement issued by the premier’s office. Mr. Gilani condoled the death of eight soldiers in the operation against the terrorists.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen. Tariq Majid called on Mr. Gilani at the Prime Minister’s House and briefed him on matters of national security.

People organised impromptu celebrations at several places across Pakistan to mark the end of the military operation against terrorists who occupied a Military Intelligence office near the army’s General Headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The people shouted slogans in support of the army and called for action to be taken against militants.

TV news channels aired patriotic songs that saluted the sacrifices made by soldiers who were killed or injured in the operation against the terrorists.

Eight of the terrorists who tried to storm the General Headquarters were gun down by soldiers. Another terrorist — Aqeel alias Usman, believed to be the mastermind of the attack — was captured after being injured when he tried to set off some explosives.

Six soldiers and four attackers were killed in the initial gun battle that erupted on Saturday when the terrorists launched their assault. Two commandos died in an operation this morning to free hostages taken by the terrorists. Troops freed 42 hostages while three more were killed in firing by the terrorists, the military spokesman said.

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