Militants battle Pakistani police after attacking airport

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:00pm IST

1 of 4. People gather around a rickshaw damaged during a rocket attack on Saturday night near a boundary wall of Peshawar's airport December 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Fayaz Aziz

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Militants holed up in a half-built house in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar battled security forces on Sunday after taking part in an attack on a nearby airport the previous night, officials said.

All five of the militants who were holed up in two buildings under construction were killed by the afternoon, a provincial government and army official said.

The shoot-out erupted hours after an attack on Peshawar airport. The military declared the airport secure after killing five attackers who rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the outer wall of the airfield and battled guards after dark on Saturday.

The raid on the airport was the biggest assault on a high-profile military facility in Pakistan since gunmen stormed an air base in the province of Punjab in August, and underscored the resilience and reach of Pakistan's Taliban insurgents.

The Pakistani Taliban, who have been fighting for more than five years to overthrow the state, said they had sent 10 men to attack the airport.

"Five militants were hiding in an under-construction house near Peshawar airport," said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a spokesman for the provincial government, on Sunday.

"All of them were suicide bombers. They had weapons and hand grenades."

One policeman was killed and two wounded in the clash on Sunday, he said.

During the Saturday night attack on the airport, three rockets slammed into a nearby residential area. Health and police officials said at least four civilians had been killed and 45 wounded in the flurry of blasts and gunshots.

Authorities sealed off the airport, which handles military and civilian traffic, during the attack and suspended flights.

The gritty streets of Peshawar, the gateway to the Khyber Pass and Afghanistan beyond, have often been shaken by bomb attacks and shootings, but residents said this was the first significant raid on the heavily guarded airport.

(Reporting By Jibran Ahmad; Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Republic Day

Reuters Showcase

RK Laxman Dead

RK Laxman Dead

'Common Man' cartoonist RK Laxman dead at 93  Full Article 

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

Gold Market

Gold Market

Chinese gold demand holds up ahead of holiday, Indian buying weak  Full Article 

India-U.S. Relations

India-U.S. Relations

Column - U.S. and India should join to balance China's rise  Full Article 

Padma Bhushan

Padma Bhushan

India honours Bill Gates with civilian award  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

New Greek PM

New Greek PM

Greek leftist Tsipras sworn in as PM to fight bailout terms  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Venus fireworks illuminate Australia Day  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage