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29 May 2017 13:27 (South Africa)

After losing headquarters Pakistan army raid frees hostages

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Pakistani forces freed more than 40 hostages held by militants at an army base in Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad. Military officials said three hostages and at least four hostage-takers, one wearing explosives, were killed. The insurgents had attacked Pakistan's military HQ on Saturday and six soldiers and four militants were killed in the initial assault. This was a sophisticated and audacious attack, using a high degree of military coordination and sophistication. Even though Pakistani authorities are spinning the incident as a success, it has to be seen as a huge black eye in what, by any measure, must be one of the country’s most secure areas. Recent militant attacks include: 24 September – seven pro-government tribal elders killed 26 September – 16 people killed in suicide car bombs in Peshawar, Bannu 5 October - UN offices attacked by suicide bomber, kills five 9 October – at least 50 killed in suicide bombing in Peshawar Pakistan's interior minister said the government now had “no other option but to launch an offensive” in the insurgent stronghold of South Waziristan. This can’t be a good week in Pakistan to be a supporter of stronger action.

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