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Peshawar air base reopens after rocket barrage

Peshawar air base reopens after rocket barrage

Dec 15, 2012 - 22:18

ISLAMABAD (PANinfo-icon): Normal operations at the Peshawar Air Base in Pakistaninfo-icon’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistaninfo-icon, resumed following a deadly rocket barrage and suicide attacks, an official said on Sunday.

Nine people, including five militants, were killed and 40 others wounded on Saturday night when the base inside the Peshawar International Airport came under an audacious attack by militants, with a simultaneous rocket barrage.

Local security officials said the rocket raid was a cue for the fighters to launch a physical attack on the key military facility. Two of the five rockets fell inside the compound that also houses a base of the army aviation and air force used against the insurgents in adjoining tribal areas.

The Tehrik-i-Talibaninfo-icon Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility, saying the target was the air force base. Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the group, said 10 suicide bombers took part in the daring assault. Five of them managed to enter the base.

A PAF spokesman said that the assailants used two vehicles laden with explosives, hand grenades, RPGs and automatic weapons. One vehicle was destroyed and a second badly damaged. The rockets were fired from the Abdara village near the airport.

Pakistan Air Force and army personnel cordoned off the base and repulsed the well-coordinated strike, the spokesman said in a statement. Three suicide jackets were found near one of the vehicles.

Forcing a suspension of flights at the airport, where passengers took refuge inside the terminal, the overnight incident appeared to be a repeat of the attacks on the Mehran Base in the port city of Karachi and Kamra Base.



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