Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

Islamists briefly seize government building

Latest update : 2008-09-13

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, dozens of Islamic militants briefly seized a government building, briefly taking hostages before police surrounded the building. No one was harmed, but the militants escaped.

Dozens of gun-toting Islamic militants briefly seized a government building in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar late Saturday, but no one was hurt, officials said.
  
The militants were believed to be loyal to Mangal Bagh, the leader of a radical group accused by officials of kidnapping for ransom in Peshawar, harassing locals and running torture centres and private jails.
  
Witnesses said the fighters -- who later fled under cover of darkness when security forces surrounded the building -- were heavily-armed and wearing masks.
  
A security official said the building's security guards were briefly taken hostage, but they managed to alert police, prompting the response from security forces.
  
"We have vacated the building and freed the hostages but the militants have managed to escape," Peshawar police chief Sulaiman Shah told reporters.
  
"A search and cordon operation will continue for three hours to apprehend the militants," he said, adding that it was not possible to say how many had been involved in the siege.
  
Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province, is not far from Pakistan's rugged tribal areas on the Afghan border, where the army is battling Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.
  
A senior security official told AFP the hostage-takers had been able to leave the building after tribal elders from the Khyber agency intervened, indicating that an agreement had been made to secure their safe passage.
  
"The attack appears to have been symbolic, to convey a message that they can attack a government building," the security official said.
  
As well as kidnapping for ransom, Bagh's Lashkar-e-Islam group has also been accused of attacking convoys ferrying supplies to NATO and US troops in Afghanistan that travel through the historic Khyber Pass.
  
Bagh and authorities signed a peace pact in July after the military had conducted a 10-day operation to counter his fighters, who had threatened to take over Peshawar.
  
Under the accord, Bagh and his group agreed not to enter or patrol in Peshawar, officials said at the time.
  
When the agreement was signed, Islamabad was under mounting pressure from Washington to live up to its partnership in the US-led "war on terror" and crack down on extremist fighters with bases in the tribal areas.
  
Pakistan's new government signed a peace deal with Taliban militants near the Afghan border after winning February elections, but went ahead with the operation against the Bagh-led radicals.

Date created : 2008-09-13

COMMENT(S)