Taliban gunmen killed 29 people, including 16 praying in a mosque, when they stormed a Pakistani air force base on Friday, a military spokesman said, in the deadliest Taliban attack on a military installation in the country’s history.
The 13 gunmen were also killed in the attack on Badaber air base, close to Peshawar.
Twenty-two of those killed in the attack were serving in the Pakistan air force, four were civilians and three were army soldiers responding to the attack, Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa told a news conference. Twenty-nine people were wounded, he said.
“The terrorist group used two gates. They came close to the gate and disembarked from their cars and then they used rocket launchers and grenades and fired as they entered the gate,” said Bajwa, who said the attack has been masterminded in Afghanistan.
A reaction force arrived within 10 minutes and the attackers were contained close to the areas where they entered, he said. But they were still able to enter the mosque, he said.
Mohammad Ikram of the Pakistani Air Force who was at the mosque said most of those inside the mosque were hit by gunfire in the attack claimed by the Taliban. “We were offering prayers when we first heard the gunshots and then, within no time, they entered the mosque where they began indiscriminately firing.”