- DG ISPR says attack on PAF facility in Badaber was planned and controlled from Afghanistan; all 13 terrorists killed by army’s special units
- Martyred people include 23 from PAF, three from army and three civilians
At least 29 people, including personnel of the Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Army, were killed in an armed attack by Pakistani Taliban on the PAF camp at Inqalab Road in Peshawar’s Badaber area early on Friday.
Pakistan Army’s chief spokesman, Major General Asim Bajwa told reporters later in the day that the attack on Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Badaber camp was planned and controlled from Afghanistan.
“We have recordings which reveal the attack was planned, executed and controlled from Afghanistan,” the ISPR DG said.
Bajwa said the attack on the PAF installation started at around 5am, when at least 13 terrorists wearing law enforcement uniforms arrived on Inqalab Road and dismounted from their vehicle near the gates of the base.
“After dismounting, the terrorists used rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and automatic rifle fire to breach the gates and gain entry into the PAF base,” he said, adding that as soon as the terrorists entered the facility, they met stiff resistance from the PAF guards deployed at the gates.
“The terrorists then split into two groups, with one group heading towards the administrative area of the base while the other group headed towards the technical area,” Bajwa said. He said that the terrorists were under continuous fire from security forces, and the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) reached within 10 minutes and managed to contain the attackers in a relatively small area of the base.
“Once the terrorists entered the facility, they were contained within 50 metres of either side of the gate, and were not able to advance towards their objectives.”
The ISPR chief confirmed that the ensuing firefight took place within the small area which also housed the base’s mosque, which “unfortunately became a target for the attackers, and they rushed in and opened fire on the people present for morning prayers.”
“At least 29 people have been martyred — 23 from air force, three from army and three civilians,” Bajwa said, adding that 29 people were also wounded during the attack. The DG ISPR said that 10 soldiers were injured during an exchange of fire with terrorists — two of whom are officers.
“Sixteen people offering prayers at the mosque were gunned down while seven others were killed in the ablution area of the mosque,” he said.
A PAF spokesperson confirmed that three airmen killed in the attack were deployed at the guardroom when the attack occurred.
The attack on the PAF base was claimed by TTP spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani in an e-mail sent to journalists.
The Badaber camp used to be an operational airforce base. It is no longer an operational airbase but is still used as a PAF training centre. The base is on one side of the road, while a residential estate lies on the opposite side.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif reached Peshawar soon after learning about the attack.
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman also met Gen Sharif and the Peshawar Corps Commander at the Corps Headquarters. Prior to the meeting, he briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about the ongoing operation in Badaber over the telephone.
The Corps Commander briefed the Air Chief and COAS on the Peshawar operation. The COAS and Chief of Air Staff visited the wounded at CMH.
They then visited Badaber airforce camp to meet PAF, Army and police personnel who had successfully defended the base against the terrorists’ attack.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also reached Peshawar later in the day and participated in the funeral prayers for those martyred in the attack. He also visited the injured personnel at the hospital. Gen Sharif accompanied the PM during the hospital visit.