PESHAWAR: At least 33 people, including 13 terrorists, were killed as the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) camp at Inqalab road in Peshawar’s Badaber 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.
Two junior PAF technicians were killed in the attack, a PAF spokesperson said, adding that both airmen were deployed at the guardroom when the attack occurred.
Terrorists entered the camp at two points, splitting into sub-groups, Bajwa claimed. The encounter 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-propelled 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 QRF reached the spot. An exchange of fire between the militants and security forces took place. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 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 a flying 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.
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