Pak launches probe into Taliban attack on air base

A group of heavily-armed terrorists launched a pre-dawn attack on the air base at Kamra, 60 km northwest of Islamabad.

Islamabad: The Pakistan Air Force on Friday launched an investigation into a Taliban attack on a key air base that left two security personnel and nine militants dead, officials said.

An investigation committee led by Air Marshal Athar Hussain Bukhari had formally started a probe into yesterday`s attack on the Kamra air base in Punjab province, said PAF spokesman Group Captain Tariq Mahmood.

The committee visited the Karma air base today as part of its investigation, Mahmood said.

A group of heavily-armed terrorists yesterday launched a pre-dawn attack on the air base at Kamra, 60 km northwest of Islamabad.

Nine terrorists and two security personnel were killed during a three-hour gun battle at the base.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge the killing of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and Osama bin Laden.

In a separate development, PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt today visited the Kamra air base, including the portion where the security forces fought the terrorists.

Butt was given a briefing about the sequence of events by Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

He also met Air Commodore Muhammad Azam, the commander of the Kamra air base, who was injured while leading the operation against the terrorists.

The PAF chief also met three security personnel who sustained superficial injuries due to the detonation of suicide jacket during the operation against the attackers.

Addressing personnel at the air base, Butt said: "We must understand and realise that we are in a state of war, that too against a hidden enemy. These cowardly attacks cannot weaken over resolve to defend our motherland."

The militants had moved through a nearby village and climbed a nine-foot wall strung with barbed wire to sneak into the base, PAF sources said.

However, they were spotted and engaged by security personnel deployed at a watch tower along the boundary wall.

The militants, most of whom were wearing suicide vests, were unable to cross the inner security cordon.


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