RIA Novosti.December 17,2012
Pakistani army soldiers take positions during a gunbattle with Taliban militants in Peshawar
© AFP/ A Majeed
Over 40 people were wounded in the initial attack on Saturday
© AFP/ A Majeed
The five remaining members of a group of Taliban militants who carried out a daring attack on a Pakistani airport on Saturday have been killed in an ensuing operation conducted by police and the army, local media reported.
Ten men from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) tried to breach the security perimeter at the Bacha Khan International Airport in Pakistan’s northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar late on Saturday using rocket-propelled grenades, automatic weapons and two cars laden with explosives.
Five of the militants were killed during the attack while the other five holed up in a house under construction in Pawaka village, located near the airport.
Pakistan’s Geo News television cited security sources on Sunday as saying that three remaining militants were killed in a prolonged gun battle with security forces and two others blew themselves up.
A RIA Novosti source in Peshawar has confirmed the media reports in an email message saying “all of the terrorists are dead at the end of the operation.”
A policeman was killed in the firefight with militants on Sunday while at least four civilians died and over 40 people were wounded in the initial attack on Saturday.
The source, who is a local doctor, said at least 38 injured and three dead had been brought to his hospital after the attack. More victims could have been brought to other medical facilities.
“Some of the critically injured had head injuries and have been shifted to other hospitals because neurosurgery facilities are not available in our hospital,” he said.
The Bacha Khan airport is used both by civilian authorities and the military.
The militants, who are believed to be Uzbeks, failed to breach the security perimeter or damage equipment on the territory of the airport, the Pakistani military said.
Authorities said they had collected DNA samples from the attackers to be sent testing on Monday.
The airport was closed after the attack on Saturday night, but reopened on Sunday afternoon.
Peshawar has a population of 3.6 million and is located on the edge of Pakistan’s tribal region, which is controlled in large part by the radical Taliban movement.
The Taliban was behind a similar attack on the airport of Jalalabad in August, when five Taliban fighters and five security troops were killed.