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Pakistan: 29 killed by terrorists at air force base

19th Sep 2015
Pakistan: 29 killed by terrorists at air force base

By Sardar Hussain

 

PESHAWAR, (AA): As many as 29 people, including an army captain, were killed in a Friday attack on a heavily guarded Pakistan Air Force base.

Confirming the death toll, DG ISPR (Inter Services Public Relations) said Taliban gunmen stormed the base on the outskirts of Peshawar city.

According to the DG ISPR, a 13-member squad attacked a mosque inside the base, but claimed all the militants were killed in the fighting.

Sixteen PAF soldiers were among the 29 killed as they were at morning prayer. Seven other soldiers were killed in a barracks near the mosque.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif visited Peshawar and attended funeral prayers for those slain in the attack.

President Mamnoon Hussain, in condemning the attack, said the government was committed to weeding out terror from the country. He said the nation stood united, adding that the militants could not undermine the government’s resolve by carrying out terror attacks “out of sheer cowardice”.

Two eye witnesses, Munir and Shahidullah Babar, said they were at the mosque when they heard firing outside.

“The imam was to appear to lead the prayer and I was completing the last raka’at of the sunnah part of the prayer when one of the attackers entered the mosque and started firing,” Munir said.

He said that after the attacker ran out of ammunition there was silence before a hand grenade was hurled at the ranks of worshipers as the gunman stepped out.

This is the seventh time that an air force installation has come under militant attack. The first assault carried out on such an installation was in 2007 when militants launched a suicide attack on the Kamrah Aeronautical Complex, killing at least seven people. The same complex came under rocket attack by militants in 2008. Rebels also attacked Mehran Airbase in the coastal city Karachi, causing heavy casualties.

 

[Photo: :Pakistani soldiers cordon off the area outside an air force base attacked by Taliban militants at Badaber on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, Pakistan, on September 18, 2015. Photographer: Kaynak: Bilal Khan/aa)

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