Islamabad: Eight armed terrorists forced their way into one of Pakistan's largest air bases, the Minhas air base in Kamra, 85 km from Islamabad. All eight terrorists and one security officer were killed after a five-hour long gun battle.
The attackers reportedly broke through three checkposts at 2.30 am on Thursday morning and climbed a nine feet wall strung with barbed wire to break into the base. The airbase was now completely under the control of Pakistani commandos.
One aircraft was damaged in the attack. The terrorists, some of whom were reportedly wearing military uniforms, sneaked into the Kamra airbase at about 2 am despite a state of high alert at the facility.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the terrorists could have had internal help from elements within the airbase. The terrorists reportedly entered base from Pind Suleman Makhan, a village adjoining the PAF facility.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has put security forces on a high alert at airports across the country.
The PAF sought help from the Army and troops from the Rawalpindi-based 111 Brigade were dispatched to Kamra. Witnesses told the media they had heard intense firing and several explosions from within the airbase.
A statement issued by the PAF confirmed the attack and said troops had surrounded the terrorists and engaged them.
Kamra is an airbase located 85 kilometres from Islamabad. This is where the Pakistan Air Force assembles JF-17 jets. Normally, more than 30 aircraft remain parked at the base at a time.
This was the latest in a string of brazen attacks on Pakistani military installations. In the past, militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban have attacked the army's General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and a key naval airbase in the port city of Karachi.
(With additional information from PTI)