A hostage standoff at Pakistani military HQ in Rawalpindi ended violently on Sunday morning when Pakistani troops stormed the compound where the militants had holed up with 25 hostages. Three of the hostages were killed in the course of the assault, along with two army troops and four militants.
Earlier the militants, some dressed in Pakistani military uniforms, had driven up to the entrance. When they were nevertheless challenged, they opened fire, killing several Pakistani troops and two officers, one a brigadier, and some of them were killed. Others escaped, and managed to take hostages for a time.
AP has video on the end of the hostage crisis at the military HQ. One of the hostage-takers is said to have been wearing a suicide bomb belt, but Pakistani Special Ops agents took him out before he could detonate it.
Since there is a general American hysteria over Pakistan, it is important to note that the militants just carried out a garden-variety terrorist operation. They did not take or hold anything except on a very temporary basis, and there were not that many of them. The incident is a sign that small terrorists bands can be resourceful and can deploy terrorist operations for civil political gain. The incident does not prove that military HQ is open to being routinely attacked. Any mention of Pakistan’s nuclear enrichment program in this connection should be viewed with suspicion.
Geo satellite television broadcasting in Urdu reported that the “Amjad Faruqi Brigade” of the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan) called the television station and said it was responsible for the attack on Pakistan army HQ in Rawalpindi. The group made several demands:
1. Former President Gen. Pervez Musharraf must be brought to justice
2. The US military must cease being afforded the use of military bases in Pakistan
3. Xe (the mercenary outfit they still call Blackwater) must be expelled from Pakistan (the Pakistani public believes that their country is crawling with Xe mercenaries)
On Friday, some 49 persons were killed and dozens wounded in a market bombing claimed by the Taliban, as Aljazeera English reports:
The Pakistani government underlined that these attacks have only stiffened its resolve to launch a major military operation in Waziristan to clean out the Taliban and allied movements.
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