42 including army captain killed in attack on PAF base
The attackers armed with weapons, including hand grenades, targeted a mosque on the base in Badaber area early in the morning, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general said.
Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa tweeted the 16 people were offering Fajr prayers at the mosque inside the camp were killed. An army captain and two PAF technicians were among the dead. Seven people in the mosque's ablution area were also killed.
He said assailants, wearing Frontier Constabulary uniforms, entered the camp at two points, splitting into sub-groups. An encounter began immediately due to the quick response from security forces. At least 10 soldiers were injured during the exchange of fire.
But a local police officer told Pajhwok Afghan News at least 22 people were injured. Twenty of them were evacuated to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and Lady Reading Hospital (LRH).
Muhammad Khorasani, spokesman for the outlawed Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the audacious attack in an e-mail to journalists. “We sent 14 men to attack the base. Eight of them entered the facility from one side and six from the other.”
Peshawar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Hidayatur Rehman took an aerial view of the base from a helicopter after the incident, which touched off a search operation in the area. About 15 suspects have been detained so far.
“All the terrorists were wearing explosives-laden jackets and were armed with hand-propelled grenades, mortars, AK-47 rifles,” a military officer on the base said. Blasts and gunfire were heard for more than three hours.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Raheel Sharif visited Peshawar to inquire after the injured soldiers. He also met Peshawar Corps Commander Rehman and Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman to discuss the terrorist attack.
“Captain Asfandyar embraced shahadat (martyrdom) while fighting valiantly and leading his troops from the front,” Bajwa said.
Senior officers stationed at the base in Badaber on the southern outskirts of the provincial capital were the apparent target of the attack. Quick Response Force personnel rushed to the site to beat back the attackers.
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