Asif Javed

PESHAWAR, 18 September: At least 43 people including 26 security personnel and 13 militants were killed in an early Friday attack by the fighters of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan  on the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) camp in Budhaber area of Peshawar, security officials said.

Addressing a press conference at Peshawar, Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwa  said that the attack was planned and controlled from Afghanistan. He termed the attack as the reaction of ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency.

While giving details of the attack on Budhaber base, he said that a group of  13-14 militants being equipped with light and heavy arms entered the camp through two gates. They killed 16 people who were offering morning prayers in a mosque inside PAF camp, he said adding Captain Asfandyar of the Pakistan Army died while leading a counter attack against militants.

Mr Bajwa said militants had killed  7 PAF personnel in a barrack inside the camp. The Quick Response Force (QRF) reached the scene, surrounded the attackers and isolated them. Bajwa said  all the 13 attackers were gunned down by security forces . He added that 23 security personnel and employees of PAF were injured in the assault

 

According to ISPR, 23 personnel of PAF, 3 soldiers of Pakistan army and four civilians working in the camp were among the dead. Eyewitnesses said the attackers were dressed in the uniforms of paramilitary forces.  The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif  arrived in Peshawar and met the soldiers who sustained injuries during clash with the militants.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also visited Combined Militery Hospital in Peshawar to inquir about the health of injured soldiers and other staff of PAF. Later on Prime Minister, Army Chief, Defense Minister, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, provincial ministers and civil and military officers attended the funeral ceremony of the security personnel killed in the attack.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Muhammad Khorasani has claimed responsibility for the attack on PAF base in Badhaber.

The militants had also attacked Peshawar Airport in 2012 during which nine people were killed and 30 others sustained injuries.

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