PESHAWAR: At least 42 people, including 13 terrorists, were killed as the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) camp at Inqalab road in Peshawar’s Badaber area came under attack by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants early Friday.
Thirteen terrorists were killed by security forces, Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwa said on Twitter.
Sixteen people offering prayers at a mosque inside the airforce camp were killed by a group of militants, Bajwa said. Addressing a press conference later during the day he said that seven other people were killed in the ablution area of the mosque.
Three PAF technicians were killed in the attack, a PAF spokesperson said, adding that the airmen were deployed at the guardroom when the attack occurred.
Terrorists entered the camp at two points, splitting into sub-groups, Bajwa claimed. The firefight began immediately due to the quick response from security forces, he said.
The attackers were wearing constabulary uniforms.
Pakistan Army’s Captain Asfandyar was killed in the attack.
The DG ISPR said 10 soldiers were injured during an exchange of fire with terrorists — two of whom are officers.
Rescue sources, however, said 22 people have been injured, out of whom 20 have been shifted to CMH Peshawar and two have been taken to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH). An emergency has been declared in both hospitals. Dr Subhani at LRH said one unidentified body had been brought to the hospital.
TTP spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail sent to journalists.
A search operation for hidden terrorists is underway, Bajwa said. Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Hidayatur Rehman conducted aerial surveillance of the base from a helicopter.
Around 15 people were arrested during the search operation, police said.
The attack was carried out by a group of seven to 10 terrorists, the DG ISPR said earlier, while eyewitnesses claimed they saw around six to seven terrorists dressed in black militia uniforms wearing white shoes.
A military official at the base said, “All the terrorists were wearing explosives-laden jackets and were armed with hand grenades, mortars, AK-47 rifles.”
Nearby residents said explosions and gunfire could still be heard more than three hours after the attack took place.
When the attack occurred, a heavy contingent of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) reached the spot. An exchange of fire between the militants and security forces took place. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police have cordoned off the area.
The DG ISPR said terrorists had attacked the guard room at the camp early in the morning. The QRF reached the scene and surrounded the attackers, isolating them.
The terrorists had been engaged and confined to a small area around the guard room area of the camp.
The Badaber camp used to be an operational airforce base. It is no longer an operational airbase but is still used as a PAF training centre.
The base is on one side of the road, while a residential estate lies on the opposite side.
COAS, CAS, Corps Commander meet
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif reached Peshawar earlier today. He held a meeting with Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Hidayatur Rehman to discuss the terrorist attack at the Badaber PAF airforce camp.
The COAS and Corps Commander discussed the deaths of two PAF technicians who were posted at the airforce base’s guard room. The army chief was briefed about the condition of Major Haseeb of the Pakistan Army who was wounded during retaliatory action against the attackers.
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman also met COAS Raheel Sharif and the Corps Commander at Corps Headquarters in Peshawar. Prior to the meeting, he briefed the prime minister about the ongoing operation in Badaber over the telephone.
The Corps Commander briefed the Air Chief and COAS on the Peshawar operation.
The COAS and Chief of Air Staff visited the wounded at CMH.
They then visited Badaber airforce camp to meet PAF, Army and police personnel who defeated the attackers.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily