After escaping custody and seizing a police station, more than thirty Pakistani Taliban insurgents reportedly held several officers captive on Monday.
Sunday, members of the Tehreek–e–Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction, which is distinct from the Afghan Taliban but shares a similar philosophy, overpowered their jailers and stole firearms.
The militants, who are being arrested on suspicion of terrorism, are demanding safe passage to Afghanistan, said Muhammad Ali Saif, a spokesman for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government, in a late Sunday statement.
A senior government official in Bannu, where the event is happening near the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan's former autonomous tribal areas, stated that hostages are still being held following a failed operation to liberate them.
"During the interrogation, several of them stole firearms from the police officers and afterward held the entire crew hostage," he told AFP on the condition of anonymity.
"They want us to provide them with the safe ground or air transportation. They want to take all the hostages with them and eventually release them at the Afghan border or within the country."
The TTP claimed responsibility for the incident and demanded safe passage to border regions from authorities.
Otherwise, the military will bear sole responsibility for the situation, the TTP declared in a statement.
A government official verified that a video released on social media from the scene depicted a gang of armed guys with long beards, one of whom threatened to kill all the captives.
According to him, there were at least eight hostages, including police and military personnel.
The TTP began in 2007 and unleashed a horrible wave of bloodshed in Pakistan, culminating in a military crackdown starting in 2014.
Since the Afghan Taliban seized control of Kabul last year, there has been an increase in attacks, most of which have targeted security forces.
A tenuous ceasefire agreement with Islamabad expired this month.
During two sophisticated nocturnal assaults on the Bannu town jail in 2012 and 2013, dozens of heavily armed Taliban insurgents liberated almost 600 captives, including hardline terrorists.