Islamabad, Aug 16 (IANS) Six militants and two security personnel were killed when heavily armed terrorists Thursday morning mounted a brazen attack on an airbase in Pakistan’s Punjab province, military said.
According to a spokesperson with Pakistan Air Force (PAF), at about 2 a.m. Thursday, six heavily armed militants launched the attack on PAF Kamra airbase in Attock district, which is located some 70 km northwest of the capital Islamabad, reported Xinhua.
Intense gunfire broke out between the militants and the security forces, said the spokesperson, adding that six attackers were killed after more than three hours of fighting.
One of the militants killed in the attack was wearing a suicide jacket.
While media reports said that one aircraft was destroyed in the attack, the PAF spokesperson denied it saying that the attackers failed to reach any of the planes.
The attack took place when a group of militants, wearing military uniforms, were stopped at a checkpost of the Kamra airbase, said media reports.
The militants had successfully crossed over three checkposts before they were stopped at the fourth one.
They opened fire and hurled grenades at the security people at the checkpost when they were stopped.
Huge smoke and fire were seen rising from the airbase following the attack, said local residents.
Commandos were called in and paramilitary forces and police were quickly deployed outside the airbase to counter any second attack.
A spokesman with Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that army commandos were also dispatched to the attack site at the request of PAF.
Both Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf have issued statements strongly condemning the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Thursday’s attack on the Kamra airbase is the second of its kind launched by militants in the country over the past year or so.
On May 22, 2011, a group of militants launched an attack on an airbase in the country’s southern port city of Karachi, in which at least one US-made P-3C Orion plane was destroyed and a number of security personnel were killed and wounded.