Pakistan hostage drama over; 25 hostages freed

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Pakistan hostage drama over; 25 hostages freed

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Rawalpindi:  The hostage drama at the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi is over.

Twenty five of the 28 people, held hostage by the Taliban militants, have been freed. Three hostages have been killed. According to the army spokesperson, four terrorists have been shot dead.

The release of the hostages comes almost 20 hours after the attack on the headquarters began, when heavily armed Taliban militants dressed in military uniform opened fire. A brigadier and five other armymen were killed.

The militants captured several people including some security personnel. Power supply had been cut off to the area where terrorists were holed up.

Speaking to Pakistani media, Major General Athar Abbas said the army commandos freed most of the hostages held captive at the army headquarters.

It all started at around 11:30 am on Saturday when terrorists, dressed in Army fatigues and driving a white van, attacked the Pakistan Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

They drove upto the heavily fortified compound, firing and throwing grenades. Their first targets were the checkpoint guards. After shooting them the attackers jumped out of the van trying to force their way in.

The police and the Army hit back and the area was cordoned off; helicopter gunships gave the air cover.

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Some reports indicate that top officials of the Pakistan Army were inside the building, trapped on the top floor. The gunbattle went on for 45 minutes in which four terrorists were killed.

But just when it seemed all over, firing was heard again and it was soon known that two attackers had managed to escape. A large manhunt was underway.

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