World Bulleltin / News Desk
At least nine men, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, have stormed an air force base in Kamra, northwest of the Pakistani capital, killing one security official, officials say.
The attack was repelled and only one aircraft was damaged, said an air force spokesman, adding that the Minhas air base at Kamra, in central Punjab province, did not house nuclear weapons.
"No air base is a nuclear air base in Pakistan," he said.
The gunbattle raged for hours, and eight men and one soldier were killed, the spokesman said. Commandos were called in to reinforce and police armored personnel carriers could be seen heading into the base.
The attackers moved through a nearby village under cover of darkness and climbed a nine foot (2.7 meter) wall strung with barbed wire to break into the base. Some were wearing military uniforms.
Security forces opened fire when men strapped with suicide bombing vests approached aircraft hangars, prompting other men to fire rocket-propelled grenades from outside the base's walls, said the air force spokesman.
Base commander Air Commodore Muhammad Azam, who led the operation against the attackers, was shot in the shoulder, but is in stable condition, said spokesman Captain Tariq Mahmood.
Search operations for any other suspects who may have been hiding in the complex after the attack had ended, he said.
Minhas, 75 km (45 miles) northwest of Islamabad, is adjacent to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, a major air force research and development center. Pakistan manufactures JF-17 fighter planes, jointly developed with China, at the site.
It was not immediately clear how the attackers managed to enter the sprawling base this time. Although the attack took place at about 2 a.m. (2100 GMT Wednesday), it is likely many of the soldiers on the base were awake for prayers or breakfast during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Faheemullah Khan, a civilian who lives near the base, said he was at a mosque praying when he heard gunfire and explosions which he thought were military exercises.
"Then we came to a restaurant, which is next to the main entrance to the base, and heard a louder explosion," he said.
"We saw six police vans rush in, and realized something was wrong."
Several squadrons of fighters and surveillance planes are believed to be based at Minhas.
"One body of a suicide bomber strapped with explosives has been found close to the impact area," said an air force statement.
Says will open Philippines to trade, commerce with China, Russia while heading toward ‘point of no return’ in ties with US
A Chinese court handed down a three-year suspended jail sentence for a prominent labour activist while two other defendants were given 18-month suspended sentences, a lawyer and rights group said.
Officers raid hospital where Baek Nam-gi was pronounced dead months after being hit by police water cannon during protest
Remark comes after Japan scrambled fighter jets after Chinese aircraft flew over Miyako Strait on way to drills in Pacific
China investigating bank for continuing to operate in defiance of sanctions aimed at blocking Pyongyang's nuclear funds
More than 40 Chinese bombers and other fighter planes flew through a strait between Japanese islands on their way to military drills in the western Pacific
Lifting of sanctions expected to greatly benefit country across the board, including many former junta cronies
Weeks-long severe drought damages 123,000 hectares of crops in central Hubei province
Drills to be held next month despite Philippine leader’s earlier call for US special forces’ withdrawal from south Mindanao
The suffering of innocent civilians through fire-bombing, shelling, and assault is unacceptable, say 2 top EU officials
Movement urges Singaporeans to play part in protecting country, be prepared in case of emergency rather than panic
Hundreds have been injured in Kashmir and troops blocked worshipers from Friday prayers at large mosques for the 11th consecutive week
A fighter jet of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, spokesman said Saturday.
‘Captain Bram’ accused of masterminding attempt to smuggle 65 to New Zealand last year in boat intercepted by Australia
Turkish deputy minister says gathering an opportunity to express, share ideas at time when world needs unity and solidarity