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Lone terrorist spent four hours outside base

Published Aug 17, 2012 02:42am


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Security personnel guard the main entrance of Pakistan air force base in Kamra – Photo by AP
Security personnel guard the main entrance of Pakistan air force base in Kamra – Photo by AP

KAMRA, Aug 16: The only terrorist who died outside the boundary of the PAF base here on Thursday killed himself to evade arrest after police surrounded the mound where he was holed up in order to attack the sentry post. He attacked with an AK-47 rifle but the two personnel at the post remained safe.

The attacker had crept onto the mound in front of the post about 100 metres from there when his accomplices were busy cutting wires to provide cover, but security personnel alerted before he could select the targets and he had to remain in a natural trench on top of the mound for four hours before he was surrounded by police.

“I think he was wounded either in firing by the sentry post or by police reinforcements,” an official said.

Taking advantage of darkness, the man took position at the mound while a group of attackers used a four-foot ladder to make an opening in the three-foot barbed wires and jumped into the premises.

After the security operation successfully ended in late afternoon, a group of villagers sitting tense under trees in a village graveyard said the spot to cut wires had been carefully selected because it was between two sentry posts and the visibility there was poorest due to dim light.

But the villagers were cautious enough to clarify their own position.

“These were not local people and we have never been involved in any wrongdoing,” Abdul Moid of Kamra Chota village said.

“We have always cooperated with the authorities and if anything wrong is seen we inform police or the FIU.”

Another resident whose house is located not far from the boundary wall said: “We have always considered them (PAF) as brothers and defenders of the nation. Now the terrorists scaled the wall just opposite my house. This is really depressing for us.”

Kamra Chota, located at the rear of the base and near the villages of Suleman Makhan and Kamra Bara, is the least developed among the three and the land there is less fertile.

Though poor, the people of the village were peace-loving, cooperative and decent, local police and intelligence personnel told this reporter.

As the operation continued to subdue the infiltrators, a group of federal security personnel went about in the village to map the area and the mound where the attacker was holed up.

Looking at the marks the security personal said that the attack was not an action in isolation and it was clear that facilitators were present somewhere around.

Most security analysts and experts speaking on the electronic media acknowledged an intelligence failure and also blamed the local authorities, especially Punjab police, for not keeping an eye on adjoining localities.

The area falls in the jurisdiction of the Karma police post under the Attock Saddar police station. The post has a huge area to cover, including a new Sanjwal Road that leads to Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) and has link towards the Karma base.

But, headed by a sub-inspector, the post has only nine personnel and one van to contain crime, handle local disputes and maintain round the clock vigil.

“It is always easy and customary to blame police for everything,” a policeman deputed at the post said.

“Everybody is talking about an intelligence tip about an attack on Kamra, but even the fuel allocation for the Elite Force has been cut and they have reduced patrolling during nights.”

Local people acknowledged that there were supporters of terrorism, including Taliban, in nearby villages.

“We are all against the Taliban and have ideological differences with them,” Mohammad Rizwan of Kamra Chota said. “However, there are issues in Kamra Bara and there are also many outsiders like imams of mosques.”

Since there is only one way to Kamra Chota through Suleman Makhan and Kamra Bara and the attackers were not inside the former village they must have come from outside. One can easily guess that the attackers used a vehicle to go to the village graveyard and moved to positions.

“It is unrealistic to imagine that a group of people would be walking with loads like shoulder-launched rockets, ladder, guns and explosive material on the streets on the Shabeena when almost everybody is awake,” a security official said.

In Kamra Bara, one sees a couple of mosques and seminaries with flags of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan hoisted on them and locals say there is a breed of new clerics in the village who do not respect traditional norms.


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Comments (83) Closed

AHA Aug 17, 2012 04:18pm
But then consider who is backing the militants. I can not blame the personnel of the 'regular' defense forces. They are helpless when the militants get support from 'you-know-who' (I hope the Harry Potter publisher will sue me for using this term!).
Hamid Abbasi Aug 18, 2012 03:51pm
I fully agree,undue remarks and criticism on our armed forces amount to dishearten them.If they were not vigilant it would have been the 2nd episode of MehranBase.Hamid Abbasi
Yawar Aug 17, 2012 11:02am
There is no talk of any surveillance cameras. Should not a facility like this have these installed on its perimeter?
AHA Aug 17, 2012 04:14pm
Excellent observation. But we will 'find' someone else to blame this on too. We have practiced ourselves into perfection in this art.
Shahbaz jameel Aug 17, 2012 04:16pm
If 8 men can keep the base busy for HOURS, what would the base do if an army attacked them???
AHA Aug 17, 2012 04:22pm
I loved this: "risk to question the Afsar Sahab in the Jeep". This describes, in absolute terms, our most revered Pakistani culture.
Mohammad Ali Khan Aug 18, 2012 03:04pm
Muslims need to have courage to question the clerics who have transformed the message of Prophet Mohammad into a cult.
AHA Aug 17, 2012 04:25pm
So you know the solution. Now why didn't anyone else think of this during the last 65 years. I wonder...
Deshbir Aug 17, 2012 04:27pm
Read the various Comments.After reading the Commnets what i have noticed.There is old time saying " Never give Devil a ride,He will always want to Drive"So the Time has come when these devils want drive Slowly the getting success.It is all bull shot Blaming India and other countries.
Nadeem Ullah Aug 17, 2012 03:49pm
But the involvement of external agencies is a fact. Didn't you see the statement of Paneta? Looks like he was eagerly waiting for this to happen so he could give this statement...
napak Aug 17, 2012 10:01am
lol abdul, who made those silly videos?
Jawwad Aug 17, 2012 05:17pm
Mosques. That is where terrorists are facilitated. That is where logistics are provided. That is where plans are discuss, terrorists are sheltered, fed, rested and make their last prays. We should all be mad these terrorists have turned these learning places into safe havens. We need to pull the Mullah out of Mosque and question HIM.
napak Aug 17, 2012 10:02am
US is helping Pakistan more than Pakitanis.
Sadeek Aug 17, 2012 11:10am
Pakistan being a nuclear state is once again targeted by miscreants who were used by anti Pakistan elements. Since PAC and Minhas base is a sensitive defense area, attack was launched to rise question on security of the Air Force installation. The sentry who engaged them till reinforcement come has done tremendous effort. Army, Navy and Air Force Should beef up Security to safe guard their assets and intelligence agencies must co ordinate with each other to stop any conspiracy at the right time. Being a member of Hazara community I strongly condemn this act and fully support armed forces for protect country's sovereignty.
farrukh butt Aug 17, 2012 04:44pm
i thought after the MEHRAN base fly wud be able to go near or enter any security institution......alas i was over optimistic...............we are and wud remain a under developed third world country and inspite of spending billions.......wud never be able to defend ourselves......... by seeing this.......i am afraid its not going to be very far when a NUCLEAR site might get atacked.not by india,israel or home grown traitors and terrorists.
KHAN Aug 17, 2012 10:05am
it is time to turn all mosques and madrasas in GOVT firm controle,monitor the activities of all those who collect donation for various causes, all will be fine INSHA ALLAH
Tariq Aug 17, 2012 10:07am
As a nation we do not read factual history we make no history an therefore it is prudent to assume we learn nothing from history!
Irfan Aug 17, 2012 10:07am
Don't blame India? How can u say that? when we know India is behind so many of these terrorist activities. The Taliban who were behind all this were INDIAN TALIBAN so please make that CLEAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD
Yawar Aug 17, 2012 10:53am
This is the first time I have heard the term INDIAN TALIBAN. Are you being sarcastic or do you really think such a group exists. Do their members claim to be Muslim or Hindu or both? Also, please provide the basis for your conclusion that these were INDIAN TALIBAN.
Saad Aug 17, 2012 10:53am
Army and PAF are not responsible for what happens outside of their bases, which is where the terrorists come from. That is the job of the police. That the police is short-handed is something that the Federal and Punjab government ought to look into. The Army is already doing more than enough fighting the militants and assisting with aid to the civilian government in various areas. The budget allocated to the armed forces is in line with the threat Pakistan perceives.
Yawar Aug 17, 2012 10:55am
Thats right, just keep on saying that and ignore all terrorist attacks and magically they will end
umair Aug 17, 2012 10:42am
An attack on the base does not mean one cannot defend itself. Forces need to be more vigilant. It is very hard to contain such people willing to through their lives and involve in Terrorist activities. We as people need to be united and malign any such anti Pakistan acts.
Saif Aug 17, 2012 11:07am
brother abdul, exercise doesnt require any brain !! every country's army has won some kind of a bizarre medal and posted a video on youtube -- all claim to be #1 --- if any random terrorist can create havoc in an entire military base, and for hours !! , then something is seriously wrong. More attention on defence less on real estate/golf club management please
Qaiser k.Ahmed Aug 17, 2012 03:16pm
It is time a new chief of army was appointed. Gen.Kyani is useless. This is the fourth time we have been attacked by militants during his watch.
Khan Aug 17, 2012 03:10pm
You can stop some one who is determine to die, America should learn the lesson from Russia
Zafar Malik Aug 17, 2012 02:12pm
Mullahs should not have absolute control over mosques and should not be allowed to preach hate, terrorism and taliban's version of Islam . Every Cleric should be registered state, and they should be forced to follow certain guidelines for sermons. Every sermon should be recorded and anyone violating the guide lines shold be punished or his license be revoked.They should not be allowed to brainwash prople. Taliban and other sectarian elements have infiltratred the mosques and madrassas. Unless these two are strictly controlled Pakistan cannot escape a decent into total anarchy and chaos.
LH1 Aug 17, 2012 02:01pm
Napak, how is it that you know so much. Very impressive......just kidding!!!
BRR Aug 17, 2012 10:36am
When your "brothers" are gleefully killing each other, all you can do is brilliantly declare "the foreigners are responsible". Such wisdom!
LH1 Aug 17, 2012 10:36am
The military leadership has yet again been dishonoured. Any respectable military leader would now resign for his failures to protect his own bases.
Mahwish Aug 17, 2012 11:25am
I think the terrorists could not have attacked without support from nearby communities outside the base, or maybe from the inside as well but I doubt it. What worries me is that one of these days, the US will pay a huge sum of money to an insider to breach a nuclear facility and use it as an excuse for a unilateral military action against Pakistan. And this is exactly what terrorists (helped by other enemies of Pakistan) are wanting to facilitate by these attacks on national security installations.
Akram Aug 17, 2012 10:39am
Why were banned sipah e sahaba mosques allowed right next to PAC Kamra? these sectarian terrorists have been causing trouble in Pakistan for decades, the mosques should be retaken from the people running them. If necessary flatten the mosque. Any village providing succor to terrorists must face the consequences. Its obvious these guys were in on it, we need to hunt down those who helped in this attack and trace where the attackers came from. ISI should be monitoring the area with informers.
Iqbal Aug 18, 2012 02:00pm
... tolerance
desi77 Aug 18, 2012 01:51pm
Your assumptions are based on what? Everyone in PAF shows ID, even afsar sahab.
ROHIT PANDEY Aug 18, 2012 12:28pm
Pakistani strength: paranoia and spinning fairy tales under it's influence!
VOICE Aug 18, 2012 12:00pm
Great. Abid you made all those silent who are against this country and who are enemies of this nation.
Khalid Aug 18, 2012 11:14am
By Newton Third Lay "Every Action has a Reaction " I think it was in the reaction of what Drones and Pak Army, Air Force killing innocent people in Waziristan and tribal areas. May Allah gives right path to all of us and unite them.
hind Aug 18, 2012 10:56am
I am an India and a Hindu . I came to website to read the views of people of Pakistan. I am very happy to read all most all comments by intellectual and alert viewers of Pakistan. best part is no body blamed India it seems that Hindus or Muslims ,Sikh or christian . India lies in the heart of Pakistan and Pakistan lines in the heart of Indians .Please give the taste of their own medicine to all these terrorist who spread terrorism and try to bring differences in the heart and minds of people of both country .One thing common in both country our netas (politicians ) they are most corrupt creature of both nation.
Syed Maaz Ali Aug 18, 2012 10:41am
we get attacked , we get bombed everyday for two reasons 1. taliban 2. intel failure , But please ask our president and the governors what have they done since so many years ?
Hasan Aug 17, 2012 08:14am
Pakistan Army is the least Professional Army in the world right now. Now they are blaming Pakistani Police for their failure. Their professionalism is only seen when they want to make DHA housing schemes and to set up new businesses. With such a huge bidget blaming the police in the end with no budget is the easiest thing PAF and Army officials can do.
M Sajid Aug 17, 2012 08:08am
It’s a complete failure of security operators irrespective of their format. Defense receives a major allocation of the country’s budget and therefore has no excuses to evade blames. Blatant attacks on Defense institutions should have made them more vigilant, I believe.
Secular Pakistan Aug 17, 2012 01:19pm
The failure of Pakistan's security services, in protecting their critical assets is becoming legendary. An attack like this on a facility of such importance is incomprhensible. The top brass should be held repsonsible for this failure. I am still waiting for the heads to roll for the PNS disaster. This is a failure of leadership. I dont have a lot of confidence in the GHQ's Generals in protecting the country. They cannot even prevent petty thieves and thugs from infiltrating the inner sanctums of their facilities.
omar Aug 17, 2012 12:42pm
For all the ones who feel strongly about the outside hand must keep feeling the same way till its too late for realization.
@SecularPakista1 Aug 17, 2012 01:23pm
Protecting the inner perimeter is the military's responsibility. Even if the police with its limited resources failed on the outside, the fact these murderous thugs could scale the walls and get inside without being noticed outside via detection equipment is a failure of sepic proportion. This is not the first time this has happened. The pot Generals need to be weaned off the cereal and cement business and put to work for the task they were hired for: aka protectign the country.
Ishrat salim Aug 17, 2012 07:59am
Same sort of intel failure as Mehran base.....same dim lightning around perimeter fence....when are we going to learn from mistakes of past...? Hv we all gone down so inferior that we are not bothered to learn from bad experience of past such incidence...
Ahmed Aug 17, 2012 01:44pm
Our Army and other Elite Forces Division is the best in the world. it's the responsibility of the police to see the check and balance of outsiders no the base personnels.
mohammad Aug 17, 2012 07:36am
i feel that these were foreign sponsored agents. ALLAH KNOWS.
A.M.K Aug 17, 2012 07:38am
Let us stop fighting others war? We can look after our selves? Last 66years is the proof? Our policy like our account in "Swiss Bank",is foreign origin? We as a family can settel our own accounts? Get rid of foreigner's,civilians,NGO's and soldiers out of Pakistani soil? Avoid contract employee's at all levelsin all fields,NOW.
Capt C M Khan Aug 17, 2012 08:41am
All Politicans should joini to make all mosques free of affilitiat ions. A law must be made and CJ must take suo motto notice. Stop blaming India or any other country. Clean you house first.
abdul Aug 17, 2012 08:41am
uh are you kidding me? go check on youtube.. in world army exercise .. pakistan was no.1
Gerry D'Cunha Aug 17, 2012 08:46am
Friends of terrorist groups have infiltrated into our army, police and intelligence agency - the government need to trace them, its a difficult job but this has to be done to avoid any future major attacks.
Khan Aug 17, 2012 09:10am
Not to mention Pakistan Army has created a habit of Self Worshipping, they like hymns and songs being sung to their glory, their martyrs - regular soldiers - being immortalized while the generals sit back and relax on their golf courses and archery ranges. Anyone higher the rank of Major thinks he is equal to the President. They dont even have a Password system either verbal or electronic. I guess the infiltrators must be wearing Officer's uniforms and the poor gatekeeper, a regular NCO soldier couldnt take a risk to question the Afsar Sahab in the Jeep. :( :(
Kumar Aug 17, 2012 09:13am
Pakistani people have no body to blame but themselves. They elect failure politicians again and again for the highest post of civilian and government sector and some how think they will have a prosperous Pakistan. Lets face it most of the Pakistanis are illiterate and not educated at all. Gillani can elect his son by giving free mangoes to the poor women in the village to vote for him and Zardari can pay bribes and cash to win the presidency. Go figure. Only way for Pakistan to move forward is by educating the masses and separate religion from state. The only reason Pakistan is there on the map as a country is because of the discipline and professionalism in the military.
umair Aug 17, 2012 09:17am
An attack on the base does not mean one cannot defend itself. Forces need to be more vigilant. It is very hard to contain such people willing to through their lives and involve in Terrorist activities. We as people need to be united and malign any such anti Pakistan acts. May Allah bless us all and protect our country from internal and external evil forces. Aameen
Abid Aug 17, 2012 09:28am
So what would you do personally, if someone is hell bent to enter your premises..... anything better than what the defenders did in Kamra? A soldiers averted a major disaster and the base commander was on site with in minutes; got wounded and yet came back again from the hospital to lead his men? Speaking of budget.....does anyone have a thing more valuable than his own life to offer to his nation?
Azhar Hussain Aug 17, 2012 09:28am
Why is no one looking at the root cause, the illiterate imam who instigates these illiterate followers. Our population needs to start identifing these traitors and hand them over to the security forces.
Jatt Aug 17, 2012 09:37am
Obviously, the reward was a big mistake and clearly by the likes, you can see alot of people agree that Pakistan military is only good for Housing Schemes and taking money from our budget.
Tanveer Aug 17, 2012 09:55am
If terrorists with such training and equipment attack any part of the world, they will have an initial success due to the 'element of surprise'. What happened on 9/11? What happened in London Bombings? Indian Parliament? Have you read a recent report that a guy penetrated the security perimeter of New York's Kennedy Airport? I think the response of our forces was very good and they killed all attackers with minimum loss. God be with that country which has people like you Hasan which don't even support their own forces! How can they fight if their own people don't support them?
NAVEED HASAN Aug 17, 2012 05:39pm
Hats off to the security personnel to have saved Kamra base, things could have been lot worse. People criticize the security as lapsed, remember there is no fool proof security as claimed by our Interior Minister often. No area in the world can have a fool proof security example attack on pentagon, if that place was not secured then which place is. Heart goes out to the family of that brave jawan who gave his life so we could keep our heads high. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD
shaukat Aug 17, 2012 05:57pm
Everytime there is a breach in Pak military facility, indians analyze it threadbare to make sure the same event can not happen on their side. As much as I love Pakistan, indians are great in learning from our mistakes.
Zar Kahn Wazir Aug 17, 2012 06:00pm
Affiliations come every post that has some positive note or positive feedback or appreciation of security forces for containing the attack has dislikes while the usual whining and complaining and balming the army/country/govt has so many likes! Just wondering with AMAN KIYI AASHA......thanks DAWN!
Shafi Aug 17, 2012 06:52pm
Yes dear you have been feeling this for the last 65 years!
Gul baadarr Aug 17, 2012 07:14pm
Will we hear anything about those killed.would there be any struggle,who they were,any identification so far.killed,finish the story,no investigation,no identification.this how our security is. ,
Yawar Aug 17, 2012 08:27pm
define "friend"
ALI Aug 17, 2012 09:12pm
No doubt they had done great job but negligeces and misappropriations should not be devoided of on the pretext of life sacrifice.
ali Aug 17, 2012 09:16pm
your quite right
Afzal Chaudhry Aug 17, 2012 11:57pm
Agencies should find the perpetrator and punish the involved to maximum extent. Let be a lesson for others. Got to be some type of conspiracy to malign military and country. Stop the blame game and uproot such conspirators.
BULAND Aug 18, 2012 12:59am
Danish Aug 18, 2012 02:02am
The situation is becoming really alarming related to the Sipah Sahaba thing in the article. These people in the form of jamate Ahle Sunnat-wal-Jamat are now reaching masses in recent days. I have never seen such situation before during any Ramzan in my whole life. Their clerics now travel to different mosques and brainwash people in the name of upholding respect of Sahabas and people follow them blindly. Every other person is now seen debating on this issue and we have already started seeing results. Situation will get much worst if this is not contained. I suggest special monitoring of mosques and clerics like the Bangladesh government started recently because this situation expected to become much worst in the future.
Adil Jadoon Aug 18, 2012 02:21am
Lets not blame the Army it is our Generals who are corrupt and incompetent. Time to show them the door and use merit as basis for promotion.
Zack Aug 18, 2012 02:23am
I say Pakistan and the public should declare an all out war against these cowards and monstrous terrorists. They have to be destroyed and the mullas must be taught a lesson.
Badar Aug 18, 2012 02:52am
What a sad analysis. You need your head examined very soon. Sure you are a Pakistani?
Yawar Aug 18, 2012 03:55am
Now why would the CJ or any other judge in his right mind take suo moto notice of the TTP's terrorist actions and become a target himself?
Ravi Aug 18, 2012 04:48am
Good cover up for home grown problems, put blame on foreigners. Pakistanis are expert in avoiding blaming themselves for all kinds of problems like intolerance, ethnic and reiigous divisions killing of innocent muslim brothers list goes on.
Saad (DXB) Aug 18, 2012 08:27am
Kamra is an airbase Mr. Genius.. It does not fall under the purview of Army, but that of the Air Force..
akhter husain Aug 18, 2012 08:38am
There is only one way to stop fighting others war is to hand over the country to Taliban and hope for the best.
akhter husain Aug 18, 2012 08:40am
We are in state of war and has to face and endure it with out grumbling
m.y.saleem Aug 18, 2012 08:51am
the barbed wire boundary wall should have some alarm system.same mistake was done in mehran base.they should look for people who help these terrorists.
kashif Aug 18, 2012 05:00pm
Pakistan Govt. need to take a break from protesting on drone attacks...this is making our govt. tired....
Muhib Aug 19, 2012 03:01am
Our Army is nothing but a piece of non-professional & DHA obsessed soldiers...
Muhib Aug 19, 2012 03:03am
that also with nukes. Pakistan in her 60 years history did nothing but tried to develop a security state. Now even those who are responsible for our security are not secure.... Is it the fault of USA?
Kirpal Aug 19, 2012 03:06am
Caste system in India made millions of humans very poor and divided hindu society could not stand against the onslaught of muslim invaders from Arabia and Central Asia, which ultimately culminated into the formation of Pakistan. My friends, it the poverty which transmutes itself into various forms such as Maoists in India and religious fanatics in Pakistan. No counter repression by the state is going to change this scenario. Only solution is the education of masses, alleviation of poverty and good governance based on modern ways of living and not the 1200 years old sharia laws of backward Arabian tribes. This is my humble advise to the rulers and enlightened public of this great subcontinent.
Azwar Aug 19, 2012 03:33am
We should first of all take over each and every Mosque in Pakistan with immdiate effect. Then each sects Big Mullah can decide on a Sermon for each friday, approved first by the Government hen allowed to be given in the mosque other than that no sect should be allowed to use the mosque other than Prayer time, just like in the Middle East. The mosque is locked each time after the prayers and only openned and its Loud speaker used for Nazm. Any one not following this should be put in prison, and if still insist then Best to Hang them all as traitors of the land. This is the best solution indeed, Our Mosques today are nothing more than Hate speech centres.Remember LAL Mosque what was it being used for, that was not a mosque, It should have been razed completely and Girl school built over that piece of land. Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH ) days too or later Not sure, any mosque used other than prayers was razed. And stop blaming others for what we have done to Pakistan ourselves.
IKRAMUL HAQUE Aug 19, 2012 12:18pm
People of Pakistan have to blame themselves for this situation otherwise sympathizers of Taliban like Imran Khan cant dare supporting the terrorists.There is plenty of support in Pak army and police for all Mullas , who kill innocent in the name of Islam.People are the support of any elected government . Pak Government knows its fall out ,if they chased Mullahs fro their safe heaven in Waziristan and other places.