Pakistan's Quetta airport hit by deadly bomb and gun attack

QUETTA Pakistan Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:09am IST

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QUETTA Pakistan (Reuters) - A man was killed and two policemen were wounded in an attack on Quetta airport in western Pakistan on Thursday night, officials said, but the attackers did not breach the perimeter.

The dead man was not immediately identified. He was killed near an airforce base that shares a runway with the civilian airport.

Local residents heard at least eight blasts and gunfire that continued for around half an hour. Helicopters buzzed overhead, they said.

Sarfraz Bugti, home minister in the provincial government of Baluchistan, confirmed an attack had taken place. He said rockets had been fired but did not land in the base.

Four bombs were defused near another air force base in Quetta called Khalid, he said. He did not say who had carried out the attack.

Pakistan has suffered several recent attacks on its airports.

In June, a Taliban attack killed 30 people at the airport in Karachi, the southern city home to 18 million people.

The same month, militants fired on a plane landing in Peshawar, a provincial capital in the northwest, killing one woman passenger and narrowly missing the pilot. Peshawar airport was also attacked in 2012, when nine people were killed.

In 2012, nine people were killed in an attack on an airforce base in the northern city of Kamra.

In recent days, the attention of Pakistani security agencies has been focused on two large anti-government protests that are due to reach the capital on Friday.

(Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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