ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – On the same day the Taliban attacked the air force base of Pakistan in Kamra, they also killed 22 passengers in Naran Valley.
After ruling Swat Valley for years and destroying the tourism industry, the Taliban has successfully established their base in another beautiful valley of Pakistan – Naran Valley – and they have killed 22 people on 3 passenger buses that we traveling on Karakuram Highway from the Babusar Pass.
According to DIG Gilgit, the passenger buses were traveling from Rawalpindi to Astor when they were attacked. The gunmen checked the identification cards of the passengers, made them get off the buses and then opened fire. DIG Gilgit claimed that the incident took place in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, not in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Eyewitnesses told the police that at 7:00 am, approximately 10-15 armed men offloaded the passengers of the buses and killed them. The bodies of the deceased have been taken to Manshera. Police have launched an investigation into the incident, and according to sources, Babusar Road has been closed for an undefined time.
In another incident, Pakistan army sources claimed that Pakistan air force and SSG commandos of the Pakistan army have completed the operation against the attackers at the Kamra air base in which all 8 militants were killed, while searching for more miscreants is still underway in the surrounding area of the facility. Some sources claimed that there were around 20 terrorists still hiding in adjoining areas.
The attack on the general headquarters, Mehran naval base, and now on Kamra air base apparently confirmed the statement by terrorists that they can strike the Pakistan army everywhere and whenever they wish to scrap Pakistan security.
According to a Pakistan air force spokesman, 7 to 8 militants stormed into the Pakistan air force base of Minhas and in a 2-way clash, all 8 were killed while one body of a suicide bomber, a foreigner, strapped with explosives, was found close to the impact area. One security man was also martyred in the attack.
The base commander was also wounded and forces were searching the rest of the base to ensure no other gunmen remained, the military said.
“The aircraft parked at the base are safe and no J-F Thunder planes were present at the facility,” he confirmed.
There are reports of 6 security personnel being injured, one of whom is said to be in critical condition. A C-130 aircraft is flying over the area of impact to help locate the hiding militants, if any.
Earlier, 9 to 10 militants, disguised in security forces’ uniforms, launched an armed attack on Kamrah air base in the wee hours of Thursday where a fierce gun-battle took place and blasts were also heard.
The militants made their way into the base from the direction of Pind Salman Makhan. The intrusion was followed by a gun battle between security forces and assailants, which started at 2:00 am and continued till 6:00 am.
The militants also used hand grenades in the attack, sources said.
Normally, about 30 aircraft remain parked at Kamra airbase.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has ordered to beef up security in and around all the airports and airbases of the country. An order has also been issued to step up security in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Karachi naval base, PNS Mehran, had been attacked in a similar manner on May 22, 2011. The militants had killed several naval personnel besides destroying 2 P-3C Orion aircraft.
ETN in its exclusive report dated August 13, 2012, indicated that Pakistan might face serious attacks from the Taliban.