PESHAWAR: An anti-terrorism operation in Peshawar’s Hayatabad area concluded Tuesday afternoon after a 17-hour standoff between suspected terrorists and security forces.
Unofficial reports stated that all the suspects — who had taken cover in a residential building in Phase 7 of the Hayatabad locality and attacked security forces— were killed in the operation.
Police sources had earlier told DawnNewsTV that four or five suspected terrorists had been killed before the final push. According to the sources, two or three suspected terrorists had continued to offer resistance after having taken refuge in the top floor of a house.
The holdouts were neutralised as security forces breached walls and stormed the building.
At least one policeman was martyred in the operation.
An official report on total casualties has not yet been issued.
Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mahmood had visited the site of the anti-terrorist operation on Tuesday morning.
During his visit, Lt Gen Mahmood had directed security officials to adopt all possible precautions to ensure the security of the area’s affected residents.
He lauded the security personnel present at the site, who had been engaged with the suspected terrorists since 8pm last night. He had offered that army commandos could be involved in the final push, if need be.
Residents living around the said house were evacuated with the help of security personnel and rescue forces. Two injured women from the area were also shifted to the Hayatabad Medical Complex for treatment.
Meanwhile, funeral prayers for the martyred policeman, Qamar Alam, were offered in Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Peshawar.
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Corps Commander Mahmood, KP Inspector General of Police Mohammad Naeem and other officials participated in the prayers.
CM Khan, while talking to the media, said that police had launched the operation on a tip off that suspected terrorists were hiding in a house in the Hayatabad area. He said, citing initial reports, that seven terrorists had been hiding in the house.
A local resident told our correspondent that cross firing had started in the midst of a search operation launched by police in the area.
“This area was considered peaceful, but the recent incident has proved it otherwise,” the person said.
Talking about the suspects, the eyewitness said, “The people [suspected terrorists] had been living in the house on a rental basis for almost 15 days. They seemed to be from the rural areas from their appearance. All of them were middle-aged men and there were no woman with them. They used to enter and exit the building using the basement door only.”__Dawn.com