News / Asia

Militants Take Hostages in Pakistani Army Building

Pakistani officials say detained Islamist militants have seized weapons from their guards and taken them hostage in a major northwestern city.

Officials say the militants overpowered the two guards early Saturday in a military intelligence building in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  Pakistani troops sealed off the area and exchanged fire with the militants, bringing parts of the city to a standstill.

Intermittent gunfire was heard in the area more than seven hours after the incident began.  Pakistani police initially said the militants had attacked the intelligence compound from the outside.

In another part of Pakistan's northwest, a U.S. drone strike killed at least four Taliban militants before dawn Saturday.  Pakistani security officials said several U.S. missiles hit two vehicles carrying the militants in the Pakistani tribal region of Kurram, bordering Afghanistan.

U.S. forces have been waging a drone war against al-Qaida and Taliban militants based in northwestern Pakistan who launch attacks on NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan.  U.S. drones have mostly targeted the Pakistani tribal regions of North and South Waziristan.

The drone attacks have killed senior militants but also have fueled anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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