Taliban militants attacked Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base at Inqalab road in Peshawar’s Badaber area in northwestern city of Pakistan on Friday, sparking a gunbattle with the security forces that left 13 terrorists dead. According to the initial reports, at least 10 gunmen wearing explosives-laden jackets and armed with hand-propelled grenades, mortars, AK-47 rifles attacked a guard post as they tried to force their way into the Badaber air base on outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Eight militants were killed by security forces, Director-General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwa confirmed on a micro-blogging site Twitter earlier on the day.
The military spokesperson also claimed that 10 soldiers were injured during exchange of fire with terrorists, two of whom are officers adding that a search operation for hidden terrorists is currently underway. Corps Commander Lieutenant General Hidayatur Rehman conducted aerial surveillance of the base from a helicopter.
“Terrorists attk (attacked) guard room early morning. Quick reaction force reached, surrounded, isolated them,” Mr. Bajwa wrote further on Twitter lending details of the incident.
At least 20 people, including a senior officer of Quick Response Force are said to be injured in the attack launched to counter the Taliban gunmen.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khorasani claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the militant group. In a statement sent by an email, Khorasani said “Our suicidal unit carried out the attack”.
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has also left for Peshawar.
Peshawar has frequently been targeted by militants in the past as well. The city suffered the worst terror attack in Pakistan’s history in December 2014 when Teherik-e-Taliban Pakistan gunmen massacred more than 150 people, most of them innocent children, at an army-run school. Earlier this year in in February, three heavily armed Taliban militants had stormed a Shia mosque, killing 21 people.
(With inputs from the PTI)