U.S. and British officials are expressing confidence in Pakistan's
government after troops ended a bloody, day-long hostage standoff
inside the army's heavily guarded headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that although militants are
increasingly threatening the authority of the Pakistani state, U.S.
officials believe no militant takeover is imminent and the country's
nuclear weapons remain safe.
Clinton spoke with reporters in London along with Britain's foreign
secretary. David Miliband said officials have received no evidence of
any threat to Pakistan's nuclear facilities.
Pakistani commandos freed 39 hostages earlier Sunday when they stormed
an office building inside military headquarters, killing four militants
and capturing another. Officials say three hostages and two soldiers
also were killed during the rescue.
The assault began on Saturday, when gunmen wearing military camouflage
attacked the army headquarters, killing six soldiers during a gunbattle
at the main gate. Four attackers also were killed. Two others were
captured, but several gunmen fled and took hostages in a nearby office
Funeral services were held Sunday for two senior Pakistani military officers killed during Saturday's attack.
No group has claimed responsibility. But Pakistani leaders blame the
Taliban, and have vowed to press forward with a planned offensive
against militants in the South Waziristan tribal region.
Last week, the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban threatened new attacks against military and government targets.
Since then, a suicide attack against the U.N. World Food Program office
in Islamabad killed five people. On Friday, a suicide bombing at a
market in the northwestern city of Peshawar killed at least 50 people.