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Updated: October 11, 2009 09:46 IST

Pakistan nabs last attacker, ends siege of army HQ

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Pak. army helicopters fly over its headquarters after an attack in Rawalpindi on Saturday. Commandoes on Sunday freed 25 hostages from the army headquarters. Photo: AP
Pak. army helicopters fly over its headquarters after an attack in Rawalpindi on Saturday. Commandoes on Sunday freed 25 hostages from the army headquarters. Photo: AP

Pakistan’s army says commandos have caught the last militant who attacked its headquarters and took dozens of hostages.

Spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas says the capture Sunday morning brings to an end a 22—hour standoff in the garrison city of Rawalpindi outside the capital.

He says the final militant who was caught is wounded.

Pakistani commandos raided a building inside the army headquarters early Sunday and freed 25 people held hostage.

Three captives and four hostage-takers were killed, as were two of the rescuers.

The attack demonstrated militants’ ongoing strength in Pakistan despite military action against them.

Commandos on Sunday stormed a building near Pakistan’s Army General Headquarters where a group of terrorists were holed up, freeing 25 hostages and killing four gunmen, the chief military spokesman said.

Nearly 20 hours after the terrorists launched an audacious attack on the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and took several security personnel hostages, the commandos launched an operation to eliminate the attackers.

Military Spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said the commandos have freed 25 hostages and killed four terrorists, including some who were wearing suicide jackets. He said three of the hostages also died during the operation.

Troops were conducting mopping up operations to check the presence of other terrorists in the area.

Abbas did not give details about casualties among the troops who had carried out the final assault.

Earlier AP story adds

Commandos of the elite Special Service Group carried out the operation to free the hostages, a few minutes before 6 a.m.

Several explosions were heard after the troops launched their assault.

The hostage crisis began yesterday when a group of about ten terrorists tried to storm the Army’s General Headquarters.

The terrorists initially killed six soldiers, including a Brigadier and Lt Colonel. Four of the attackers were also gunned down near a check post outside the GHQ.

The remaining terrorists, holed up inside an office of the Military Intelligence, took several security personnel and civilian employees hostages. Military officials had said last night that they will not conduct negotiations with the terrorists.

Power was cut off in the area in which the terrorists were hiding late last night and the military began preparing for the assault against the terrorists.

TV channels reported that 22 hostages were freed from one room after the commandos gunned down a would-be suicide bomber before he could detonate his explosives.

A section of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack, which was condemned by President Asif Ali Zardari and Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.

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