Gunmen attack 2 airbases in Pakistan, 10 militants killed
Militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades and wearing suicide vests tried to storm two heavily-guarded airbases in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province, but the attacks were thwarted by security forces which killed 10 attackers suspected to be foreigners.world Updated: Aug 15, 2014 13:13 IST
Militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades and wearing suicide vests tried to storm two heavily-guarded airbases in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province, but the attacks were thwarted by security forces which killed 10 attackers suspected to be foreigners.
Officials said Samungli airbase, which is used by the Pakistan Air Force, and Khalid military airbase were the targets of the Thursday night's attacks. The two military airbases are some 12 kilometres apart.
Sarfaraz Bugti, the Home Minister Balochistan, said that security forces repulsed the attacks and heavy exchange of fire took place between the attacker and security forces.
More than 20 huge explosions were heard during the search operation.
Khan Wasey, a spokesman for Frontier Corps, said that the militants opened fire at the air bases and hurled grenades. They also fired seven rockets that landed in their premises. He said no damage was caused.
Five militants were killed by security forces during the attack on the Samungli air base and five others were killed at the Khalid Air Base, Dawn reported.
Security forces also detained five suspects in connection with the attack targeting Samungli Air Base.
One militant, who was captured in injured condition, has been shifted to an unknown place for interrogation.
"Police are interrogating the suspects," Imran Qureshi, the Superintendent of Police, said.
The dead militants seem to be 25 to 30 years of age.
"All dead terrorists seem to be Uzbeks," Bugti was quoted as saying by Dawn.
"Security forces had also found and disabled four bombs near the Khalid airbase," Bugti told PTI.
The Khalid airbase is located in the Cantonment area of Quetta in Nawakhali while the Samungli airbase is located on the outskirts of the city.
Additional security forces had cordoned off the areas while the injured had been rushed to the Bolan Medical complex in Quetta.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Such attacks are often blamed on the Taliban which has threatened a bloody response to the military's ongoing offensive against the militants.
In June, 10 terrorists had attacked the Karachi airport building, killing at least 29 people.
After the incident, security was beefed up at all airports and airbases around the country.