Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Security force officers are seen near the house where Taliban militants took refuge during a gun battle in Peshawar December 16, 2012. - Photo by Reuters
Security force officers are seen near the house where Taliban militants took refuge during a gun battle in Peshawar December 16, 2012. - Photo by Reuters

PESHAWAR: Six people were killed Sunday as police and troops battled militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades and mortars in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar, a day after a deadly Taliban raid on the city's airport.

Fierce firing broke out after police acting on an intelligence report stormed a building near the airport, where a suicide and rocket attack on Saturday killed five civilians and the five attackers, and wounded 50 other people.

The assault late Saturday, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, sparked prolonged gunfire and forced authorities to close the airport, a commercial hub and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base in Peshawar on the edge of the tribal belt.

Police backed by troops launched a raid early Sunday on a building under construction near the airport following reports that five militants who fled after the airport attack had taken refuge there, according to provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

In the fierce shootout that followed, three militants and a policemen were killed, police said, while two other officers were wounded.

The clashes ended after six hours when the two remaining militants detonated their suicide vests inside the building, another senior police officer, Imtiaz Altaf, told AFP.

“All five militants are dead now and the area has been cleared,” Altaf said.

“All of them were wearing suicide jackets. Three were killed in a shoot out with police, while two others blew themselves up in the under construction building.” A PAF statement said five attackers were killed on Saturday and no damage was done to air force personnel or equipment.

Doctor Umar Ayub, chief of Khyber Teaching Hospital near the airport, said five civilians had also been killed and some 50 wounded.

“The base is in total control and normal operations have resumed. The security alert was also raised on other PAF air bases as well,” the air force added.

Peshawar airport is a joint military-civilian facility. Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George said the passenger side had reopened after an 18-hour closure and there was no damage to the terminals.

The air force said Saturday's attackers used two vehicles loaded with explosives, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. One vehicle was destroyed and the second badly damaged.

Security forces found three suicide jackets near one of the vehicles, it said.

“Security forces consisting of Pakistan Air Force and Army personnel who were on full alert, cordoned off the base and effectively repulsed the attack,” the air force said.

Television pictures showed a vehicle with a smashed windscreen, another damaged car, bushes on fire and what appeared to be a large breach in a wall.

Five nearby houses were destroyed after rockets landed on them and several other houses developed cracks, while the bomb squad detonated five out of eight bombs found near the base after the attack.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location that the group would continue to target the airport.

“Our target was jet fighter planes and gunship helicopters and soon we will target them again,” he said.

Comments (21) Closed

Khan Dec 16, 2012 08:01am
Due to law and order situation delimitation of Peshawar constituencies are needed now, shahi syed and his brothers should go to Peshawar to defend it
Hamid Khan Dec 16, 2012 12:54pm
And the government wants to negotiate with the Talibans! NEXT!
Guest Dec 16, 2012 10:34pm
Pak Fauj Zindabad
Reality Check Please? Dec 16, 2012 10:36am
Pakistan police is as bad as our neighbours....except that they were late and not complacent in the crime as the Indians were in the Gujrat Riots, Ayodia Masjid etc
Barbara Dec 17, 2012 03:09am
Taliban is trying to ruin the great country Pakistan.
majid Dec 16, 2012 08:45pm
paki Dec 16, 2012 10:32am
Taliban is a cancer and should be removed. Previous taliban spokesman who has been captured, should be hanged in the public.
vinodjaiswal35 Dec 16, 2012 01:12pm
Our heart felt condolences for the families of the civilians and defence forces who suffered.
A Common Man Dec 16, 2012 10:25am
The Taliban is like Pakistan having caught a Tiger by the tail. It is high time that the public, the military and the government understood what is at stake.These guys are not human. For the sake of your country - unite and take action against them. It is for your own good and for the good of the entire region.
Shahid Masud 12 Dec 16, 2012 10:21am
What are we waiting for ?
saad rehman Dec 16, 2012 09:01am
A security official has already said that they were planning and could not go in the second after they were informed because it would have given them an opportunity to escape and could have jeopardised their chances .
Waleed Ikram Dec 16, 2012 12:26pm
Don't just always look at the negatives. These police guys are laying their lives for the country. There are responsible people who will look after the delay in response. For now please praise them and Thank Allah that the attack was repulsed.
skeptic Dec 17, 2012 06:17pm
a job well done . finally some confidence in the security forces
khurram Dec 16, 2012 02:52pm
Well done police, PAF and Army!!! Keep up the good work of hitting Taliban hard when ever they show up.
Naser Dec 16, 2012 03:02pm
This TTP dude should be hunted, anybody harboring him or his likes should not get sympathies regardless of their gender or age. It is national securty.
gyro Dec 16, 2012 04:47pm
are these really TALIBANS? what about tattoos on their back? are we really fighting Taliban or someone else?
Akram Dec 16, 2012 10:59am
What this shows is that the air strikes the PAF have been inflicting on the terrorists have been causing pain. Hence the choice of target. Keep it up and lets destroy these barbarians.
Syed Dec 16, 2012 08:35am
May God send these militants to inferno.
ishrat salim Dec 16, 2012 07:40am
The police reached 4 hrs after they were informed, shows the seriousness of our LEAs....a big ? mark in our effort to fight the menace of terrorism....
Mullah Dec 16, 2012 06:29pm
Why is pakistan not able to control these home grown terrorist?
Mullah Dec 16, 2012 06:30pm
This option requires national concensus.