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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Attack on parliament, killing of soldier stun Canada's capital.  Full Article 

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Wipro sees rosier end to year as U.S. clients spend.  Full Article 

Business Climate

Business Climate

Fears for tough penalties grow as India cleans up business  Full Article 

New Email Service

New Email Service

Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox".  Full Article 

DLF Appeals

DLF Appeals

DLF seeks interim relief from capital market ban  Full Article 

Falling Oil Prices

Falling Oil Prices

Indian consumers respond to softer oil, food prices  Full Article 

Book Keeping

Book Keeping

RBI fires warning shots on companies' lack of FX hedging.  Full Article 

Policy Repo Rate

Policy Repo Rate

Most external members suggested rate cut in RBI's Sept review.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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