Pakistan Army Frees 30 Hostages at HQ, Ending Siege

Gunfight that led to 22-hour-long hostage drama leaves ten dead

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    A group of gunmen toting assault rifles and grenades waged a violent attack on Pakistan's army headquarters early Saturday morning, starting a nearly hour-long gunfight that ended when all of the assailants were dead.

    Pakistan army officers raided their own headquarters early Sunday morning, freeing 30 hostages held by militant captors who attacked the compound Saturday, leaving at least 19 dead after a bloody gunfight.

    A group of gunmen toting assault rifles and grenades and masquerading as soldiers stormed Pakistan's army headquarters early Saturday morning. The militant brigade of rogue gunman infiltrated the military compound in the garrison city of Rawalpindi outside the capital of Islamabad, authorities said. At least five of the dead left after the fight were troops from Pakistan, while eight were shooters and two were captives, officials said.

    One shooter began the bloodbath by hurling a grenade from the white van the gunmen drove to the compound, authorities said. After the grenade was fired, a 45-minute gunfight began, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said. Five militants remained in the compound after the other assailants were killed, Abbas said. The 30 hostages included soldiers and civilians.

    A Pakistani car bombing killed 49 in the city of Peshawar on Friday, and five others were killed in an unrelated incident in Islamabad on Monday, after the bombing of a United Nations aid agency in the city.

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