Authorities confirm no breakthrough in talks with militants who demand "safe passage" after they over a portion of a police station in northwest Pakistan.
Militants have killed at least one security official after they took over a portion of a police station in northwest Pakistan, demanding a "safe passage" in exchange for the release of several personnel.
A group of suspected militants detained at a counter-terrorism facility in the Bannu district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) province on Sunday managed to break out of the lockups and held security personnel hostage.
The suspects also fired at the security personnel, injuring another two, Mohammad Ali Saif, a KP government spokesperson, told reporters on Monday but declined to offer further details.
The suspects loyal to outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a consortium of several militant groups operating in Pakistan, earlier, in a video message, demanded a safe passage to neighbouring Afghanistan but later termed it a "mistake."
On Monday, The TTP, in a statement sent to a selected group of journalists, claimed the responsibility for the incident, demanding a safe passage to North or South Waziristan instead of Afghanistan.
The TTP warned that in case of an operation, the government and the army will be responsible for casualties.
According to footage going viral on social media, the militants were seen brandishing sophisticated weapons. One of the militants is heard instructing others not to damage property or hurt anyone.
READ MORE: Policemen killed in northwest Pakistan in suspected terrorist attack
No breakthrough in talks
The situation remained tense in Bannu, which abuts North Waziristan, a former TTP headquarters, as security forces have cordoned off the cantonment area, where the facility is located.
Authorities asked the residents to stay indoors, suspending the internet and mobile phone services in the area.
The government and the TTP confirmed there is no breakthrough in talks despite the lapse of nearly 20 hours.
Saif said he has been in "contact with the Taliban high-ups," but there is no breakthrough yet.
“I spoke to the Taliban high-ups through the night but talks have not been fruitful thus far," local broadcaster Dawn News quoted Saif as saying.
The government has engaged the militants to avoid casualties, he went on to say.
The TTP said the group remained in talks with the government officials overnight and asked them to “shift the prisoners” to either South or North Waziristan, but "we have not received a positive response so far."
Rescinding a fragile ceasefire
The recent attacks are the aftermath of rescinding a fragile cease-fire between Pakistani security forces and the TTP, which could last only a few months. Both sides blame each other for the violation of the ceasefire.
At least four policemen were killed and as many injured in an ambush on a police station in Bannu's adjoining district of Lakki Marwat on Sunday.
Last month, six policemen were killed in a TTP-claimed ambush in Lakki Marwat.
Pakistan has seen a surge in terrorist attacks from the Afghan side of the border, following the Taliban's storming back to power in Kabul in August last year.
Islamabad has been urging the Afghan Taliban to live up to their commitments to rein in terrorist groups and not to allow them to use Afghan soil as a launch pad for attacks.
READ MORE: Suicide bombing claimed by TTP kills, injures several in western Pakistan