Terrorists Attack on PAF Base Peshawar
PESHAWAR: Heavily-armed militants attacked the Pakistan Air Force base Badaber in Peshawar this morning, killing 29 people, says PAF spokesperson. These included 16 worshippers at a mosque located inside the base camp while three PAF technicians and an army captain were also killed battling with militants. Army soldiers quickly surrounded the attackers, confining them to a small area and killing at least 13 of them, said Pakistan’s military spokesman. ARY News reported in the evening that at least one attacker had been caught alive.
The was the terrorists’ first high-profile commando-style assault in months following a major military offensive against them. The last time an attack on a military installation took place was at the Pakistan Navy’s dockyard in Karachi in September 2014. The death toll of 29 makes this attack deadlier than even the one in 2011 on PNS Mehran Base in Karachi.
he Pakistan military’s spokesman Major-General Asim Bajwa has confirmed death of 13 militants.
He also said that the strategic assets of the Pakistan Air Force were safe and secured.
The DG ISPR said militants were clad in Frontier Constabulary uniforms.
At least 20 people including two officers and eight other soldiers have been injured so far including Major Haseeb of the Quick Reaction Force which had responded to the attack.
16 worshippers gunned down by terrorists
The DG ISPR stated that attackers split into two groups after arriving at the PAF facility — one group entered the mosque within the Air Force camp and shot dead 16 people offering prayers at the mosque.
While the other group engaged in gunfire with the forces, who responded quickly to the attack.
Army captain Martyred
The ISPR said Captain Asfandyar embraced martyrdom while fighting valiantly and leading his troops from the front.
After the killing of PAF captain, a hashtag titled “#IAmWithAsfandyar” started trending on Twitter in Pakistan, with torrents of tweets coming in to pay tribute to the slain captain.
Three PAF officers Also Martyred
The PAF spokesperson has said three of its junior technicians – identified as Shan Ali, Tariq Abbas, Saqib Javaid – were killed who gallantly fought against the terrorists. The spokesperson said the PAF officers fearlessly confronted the armed terrorists and restricted them from proceeding into other areas of the camp and ‘embraced martyrdom’.
Funeral prayers offered
The funeral prayers of the 20 slain people including three PAF officers and an Army captain were offered in Peshawar.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, Air Marshal Sohail Aman, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and other military and government officials were also present.
Taliban claim responsibility
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault, with TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani saying in an email to AFP: “Our suicidal unit carried out the attack.”
The army intensified its offensive after the school attack and since then there has been something of a lull in violence. The last major attack in the city came in February when three heavily armed Taliban militants stormed a Shiite mosque, killing 21 people.
A TTP faction last month claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing that killed the home minister of Punjab province along with 15 other people.
PM, Army Chief in Peshawar
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has reached Peshawar to witness the situation and supervise clearing up operation this afternoon.
He visited the Corps headquarters where he was briefed about the operation against the terrorists. The Army Chief will also visit the injured personnel of the Armed forces who took part in the operation.
PM Nawaz Sharif also reached Peshawar couple of hours after the army chief made it to the provincial capital of KP. He arrived at the Combined Military Hospital to inquire after the health of the injured.
Big loss ‘averted’
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said the personnel of the armed forces quickly responded to the attack of militants on PAF base camp and averted the ‘big loss’. He paid tributes to the valiant and fearless soldiers who sacrificed their lives in fight against terrorism.
The security have arrested at least 10 suspects from nearby PAF Base areas. They have been moved to undisclosed location for interrogation.
The security has been beefed up across the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtonwa following the militants attack on PAF Base in Peshawar.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies also raided a house of criminal Taji Khokhar’s den in Islamabad and seized huge cache of weapons. Some people were also detained during the raid.
Vehicle used by terrorists in the attack
An ARY News reporter at the scene said that it was unclear how many attackers were still left.The attack took place at 6.22 am when a group of 7-10 attackers entered the base. The attackers were armed with automatic weapons and weapons, an ARY News reporter at the scene said.
The reporter said that the road to the base is usually dotted with checkposts but that the attackers managed to reach its gate in a vehicle.Major-General Bajwa said that the local brigade commander was leading the response against the militants and that the Quick Reaction Force was assisting.
In his most recent tweet on the incident, the Pakistan Army spokesman said that six terrorists had been killed.
At the time of attack, an ARY News reporter at the scene spoke to a man who identified himself as Shakirullah who said that his son was inside the base and that he was tried to contact him but couldn’t. In response to a question he said that the security at the base was very good.
He said the base was used more as a residential area for PAF staff and soldiers. Shakirullah, who said that his son was a watchman at the base, said that he heard loud noises along with explosions at around the time of Fajr prayers. In response to another question, he said that the guard room was at the gate of the base, and that the attackers did not go beyond the gate.
Even as the attack was underway, and as news came of a Major Haseeb being shot in the leg while defending the base, tweets appeared praising his valour.
PM condemns attack on PAF base in Peshawar
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the attack on the PAF Badaber base in Peshawar and said the mission to eliminate terrorism will continue with full zeal. He expressed sympathies with the personnel of law enforcement agencies injured in the incident. Pakistan Air Force in a statement said that Air Chief Sohail Aman telephoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and briefed him about current situation after the terrorist attack on PAF base in Peshawar. PM Sharif has directed Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to reach Peshawar. He said the government and people are with victims of terrorist attack. Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Hidayatur Rehman supervising the search operation at the PAF base.