Armed Militants Hold Hostages At Pakistani Army HQ

By: CNN
By: CNN
At least four gunmen were holding 10 to 15 people hostage inside army headquarters in Rawalpindi Saturday after an attack left at least 10 people dead, a top military spokesman said.

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier keeps position during a military operation against Islamic militants in troubled area of Dara Adam Khail, Pakistan, Monday, Sept. 29, 2008. Pakistani troops are locked in grinding campaigns against Islamic militants in Dara and three other tribal regions of the northwest that have left hundreds dead and forced more than 500,000 to flee their homes. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

(CNN) -- At least four gunmen were holding 10 to 15 people hostage inside army headquarters in Rawalpindi Saturday after an attack left at least 10 people dead, a top military spokesman said.

Pakistani soldiers take up position after an attack on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi on October 10.

He said there have been sporadic shootings between the gunmen and authorities over the past three or four hours.

The gunmen, wearing camouflage clothing and riding in a minivan, earlier opened fire Saturday at the headquarters checkpoint, south of Islamabad, Abbas said.

Ten people were killed in the raging gunbattle including four gunmen and six army guards, he added.

Another military official said the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the incident.

CNN's Reza Sayah said: "I do not recall a standoff that has lasted this long between Pakistan security forces and militants." Watch CNN's Reza Sayah report on the attack »

He added that the assault was a setback for the authorities, and that the Taliban would laud the attack as a successful attack on the Pakistan security apparatus.

Rawalpindi, the closely guarded home to the general headquarters of the Pakistani army, has experienced suicide bombings and other attacks before.

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Saturday's assault was the third major attack in Pakistan this week.

A suicide car bomb carrying 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of explosives killed at least 52 people Friday in the northern city of Peshawar.

It was the deadliest suicide attack ever in Peshawar, said government officials.

A suicide attack at the offices of the U.N. World Food Programme in Islamabad on Monday killed five employees and wounded several others.

Last month, several blasts in northern Pakistan left 17 people dead.


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