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25 held in Pakistan school siege

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — At least 25 students were taken hostage in northwest Pakistan Monday by a group of five or six suspected criminals being pursued by police, police told CNN.

The incident happened in the district of Bannu near the town of Karak in Paksitan’s North West Frontier Province.

Bannu police said the hostage-takers are not al Qaeda or Taliban militants, but suspected criminals running from police.

Security forces surrounded the village school and police were negotiating with the gunmen, believed to number five or six, said district police chief Dar Ali Khattak.

The standoff began after the gunmen abducted a health official in a neighboring district and were chased by police, according to another local police official.

There have been no reported casualities among the hostages.

Police told CNN, however, that one of the gang of hostage-takers was killed in an exchange of gunfire before they took refuge in the school.

The North West Frontier region is known for its lawlessness and has been the scene of recent fighting between Islamic insurgents and Pakistani security forces. E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

25 held in Pakistan school siege – found here.


January 28, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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