Three people killed, 46 injured as attack on Peshawar airport repelled

Published: December 15, 2012
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A house damaged during the car explosion and rocket attacks on Saturday evening in Pesahwar. PHOTO: IQBAL MAMOUND/EXPRESS

A house damaged during the car explosion and rocket attacks on Saturday evening in Pesahwar. PHOTO: IQBAL MAMOUND/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: At least three people, including a police officer were killed and 46 others were  injured in rocket attacks on the Bacha Khan International Airport and subsequent exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists on the Old Bara Road on Saturday night. 

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said that a search and clear operation in and around the base was culminated in the early hours of Sunday morning. It added that as many as five terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with army officials posted at the entrance of the base. These terrorists are believed to be wearing suicide vests and their bodies will be removed after being cleared by the bomb disposal squad.

The statement added that that militants were using two vehicles laden with explosives, grenades, rockets and automatic weapons to create a window to infiltrate the base. However, one of the cars into a wall near the airport, before exploding. This explosion caused a number of civilian injuries. The other vehicle was severely damaged in a fire fight with security officials. At least three suicide vests were also recovered from near one of the cars.

Express News correspondent Jahangir Shehzad reported that while security forces cleared areas surrounding the airport, often intense firing erupted in bursts.

Earlier, at around 8:30 pm in the night, two rockets were fired at the Bacha Khan International Airport. They struck the outer wall around the airport and a guest house on Abdarra Road. That initial attack injured at least 15 people injured who were rushed to the nearby Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH).

When police was moved to the area where rockets had hit the building, some people who had reportedly taken positions on a roof top in University Town fired at the police.

“We have reports that a policeman deployed at the Old Bara Road check post has been killed along with a civilian and their dead bodies are lying there. A Suzuki Carry van has also been on fire nearby probably hit by a rocket too,” an official of the Town police station told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity.

“We have been asked to move the Anti Terrorists Squad (ATS) commandoes to the area equipped with night vision goggles as these terrorists have taken position on a roof top and are offering heavy resistance by firing at police,” he said, adding that SSP Operation Imran Shahid himself was supervising the operation.

SSP Operation Imran told The Express Tribune that “situation was tight and they were in the middle of an operation.” Officials had cordoned off University town and were sweeping it for more terrorists.

Officials at the Khyber Teaching Hospital told The Express Tribune that at least 46 injured people have been brought there in addition to two dead bodies. Per MS Zafar Afridi, five of the injured are in critical condition.

The Pehawar airport shares its airstrip with a Pakistan Air Force base. A PAF spokesperson said that the rockets had  only damaged the outer wall of the airport and that all aircraft and on base personnel were safe and that terrorists had failed to penetrate the outer perimeter.

Taliban claim responsibility

The Pakistani Taliban late on Saturday claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on Peshawar airport.

“We carried out this suicide attack, we will carry more such attacks on this airport,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Flights delayed

According to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials around 120 passengers onboard flight PK 755 had landed at Bacha Khan International Airport and are currently at the airport lounge and are safe. They added that a flight due to depart for Riyadh from Peshawar has been delayed.

CAA spokesman George Pervez told The Express Tribune that all the passengers are safe and that the Airport Security Force (ASF) accompanied by security forces have cordoned off the lounge.

“I cannot say anything regarding the situation unless we receive clearance from law enforcing agencies. We will never put precious lives of the passengers in danger. We can delay flights and an even cancel them,” he said. A Peshawar bound flight from Karachi due to land at 22:00 was diverted to Islamabad.

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Reader Comments (56)

  • S
    Dec 15, 2012 - 10:53PM

    ALLAH (SWT) help us

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 15, 2012 - 10:54PM

    Its very unfortunate.

    When will be able to get rid of these terrorists who are enemies of Pakistan?

    We must get rid of them by all means, no matter what may happen.

    I want to leave a safe Pakistan for my children after my death.

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  • Sharjeel Jawaid Jawaid
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:09PM

    They have an agenda to get the starategic assets. Mehran, Kamra and now Peshawar.

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:18PM

    One can only comment ‘Pakistan army zindabad’, who lost all wars against India and has now lost the war at home as well against Taliban.

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  • Dec 15, 2012 - 11:21PM

    Allah Almighty with us.
    All the attackers has been died suring the encounter.They fired rocket which made some

    civilians casualities,all the air force personal remained safe,no air port property damaged including planes.

    Our armed forces deserve congratulation and prize who made failure enemy’s resolve and stopped them at the enterence who wanted to play with innocent people’s blood.

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  • are ab bakwas chalo karo
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:27PM

    raw /cia/mosaad /aliens attacked

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:29PM

    @ Enlightened,
    Its not the army which loses war, its a country or nation which loses. How can Pakistan army win when there are so many Taliban Khan around us.

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  • Zzzz
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:34PM

    @Enlightened:
    Our army wearing is bangles, how many more people do they want to be killed before they decide to operate against Taliban.

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  • Harshvardhan sharma
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Rehman Malik : this is a conspiracy by???? I you know the next three words

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  • Sudhir
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:54PM

    Well done Pakistan Army. Attackers had to face death due to your vigilance and valour.

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  • sgrr
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:07AM

    The question is who in financing Taaliban now, and who financed them in past.

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  • The Fact
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:16AM

    For decades of war and the prevailing crisis at Pakistan both internal and external the concern authorities Army and Govt.seems has not been learnt any lesson from the past. They have no capacity to resolve internal and external issues according to the situation and long term prospective. The previous operation in Swat and the present operations in FATA and PATA are totally unjustified and based on premature strategies ignoring the long term after effects. Playing in international politics is not easy game and in history many countries even had lost their identities. While deal with country internal issues should be based on negotiation and compromises because when internal issues deal with force or hostility definitely having long term devastating effects at all i.e. socioeconomic development, national security, ethnic and international issues. It is better to deal quite differently and peaceful with internal issue not with hostility and using force against own people. Everything takes take time to understand. Pakistan can only resolve its internal problem, when it understand; how to deal with internal and external problem or issues differently and based on justice, mutual respect, understanding and even situation based compromises. The use of force and long term damages is not the solution. Remember there is no win or lost when two people living in the same house i.e. blaming and killing each other is just stupidity having no end. Further the prosperity and peace in the neighboring countries especially in Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and its socioeconomic development. At the time when all over the world is living with prosperity and maturity only the crisis can be seen in those corners of the world, where the people are still fighting and engaged in power politics. Hence one should think and prove itself with maturity and tolerance. There is no terrorism in the world else if there is not justice.

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  • IceSoul
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:20AM

    Never was there an army defending as thankless a nation as Pakistan. The Taliban will never be defeated as long as our own people continue to make excuses for them.

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  • Dec 16, 2012 - 12:22AM

    time has come,we should take a firm decision,all the combating forces agree on one point agenda and sweep the terrorism.
    Insurgents targeting us and we are dying in installments.It is better than that we embrace death or remove them all from the earth.

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  • Awais
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:33AM

    It took a long time for tribune to publish this, compared to their peers.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:40AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: ” … I want to leave a safe Pakistan for my children after my death. … “

    Sure, but before you go, do make sure that your children have learnt to respect the Kuffar (non-Muslim) ,Momin and la-deen (atheist) equally.

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  • Sharif Ali
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:43AM

    Some news channels are saying 2 planes have been damaged.

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  • bhukari Hassan
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:44AM

    Planes inside the airport were hit according to residents near the area.

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  • asim
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:48AM

    where is rehman Malik? He is the worst interior minister

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  • Saleem
    Dec 16, 2012 - 1:02AM

    Strategic assets strike ooppps.
    Tsunami khan will say this is a reaction to US drone strikes.
    JI,Mullahs,R.Malik will blame RAW, CIA, Mossad, MI6.
    Dama dum mast Qalander

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  • AJ
    Dec 16, 2012 - 1:07AM

    This will happen when a civilian airport is used as an airbase!

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  • Yo!!
    Dec 16, 2012 - 1:18AM

    while everyone criticizes here sadly, they forgot to appreciate army successful attempt to stop them from entering into airport! Pakistan Army Zindabad

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  • AXIS
    Dec 16, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Three people killed, 46 injured as attack on Peshawar airport repelled

    Take that! This is not India that mere few attackers can just take over. God bless our security forces.

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  • Falcon
    Dec 16, 2012 - 1:34AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    I feel really sad for the fact that you are turning a national tragedy into a point scoring game against IK.

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  • Abdul Malik
    Dec 16, 2012 - 3:17AM

    “WITH WHOM IT MAY CONCERN”
    Pakistan army has not lost the war against terrorists Taliban … the terrorist attack has failed by the swift response of soldiers on Duty … shame on you before you speak such words… Eaxcetly behind all these sort of activities there is RAW/MOSSAD/CIA …. But there every plan is failing …. INSHALLAH … Rung layee ga Shaheedo ka Lahuuu ……….Salute to Pakistan Army and Pakistan Armed forces…

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  • Babablacksheep
    Dec 16, 2012 - 4:01AM

    NO NO this is not our war.Tali bans are great.They doing because of drone attacks.
    Plz work harder and harder to be remained in the state of denial.

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  • SHADI
    Dec 16, 2012 - 4:23AM

    This is the part where people start making up conspiricy theories to justiy what happened, im guessing top recommended will be the one where, all these people in peshawar staged this attack and shot and blew them selves up, just as malala. Second, this is Americans war not ours and last but not least, IK zindabad please continue our brethren (taliban) so that they may continue staging such attacks in every city of pakistan.

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  • sidrah
    Dec 16, 2012 - 4:28AM

    This was clearly Mossad attack; they did it to take revenge of Palestine victory in UN.
    Taliban are just doing their duty as muslims, stop putting the blame of everything on them.
    Official taliban apologist rhetoric

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  • sidrah
    Dec 16, 2012 - 4:32AM

    @Ch. Allah Dad
    What is that supposed to mean? Our army is meant to be one of the largest with a lot of financial support. It doesn’t matter how many taliban there are Army is meant to stop these kind of terror attacks with the help of ISI. But they are too busy playing politics.

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Dec 16, 2012 - 5:54AM

    of the 5 terrorists, how many were uncircumcised? How many were wearing saffron hindu zionist bands?

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  • janaan
    Dec 16, 2012 - 6:56AM

    ….investigation is going on and more to come after DNA tests of those killed.
    ARMY is wearing bangles.

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  • Sher khan
    Dec 16, 2012 - 7:25AM

    All kids here, don’t understand the great game being played here…

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  • Ash Kanazi
    Dec 16, 2012 - 7:31AM

    So AFP cant tell Ehsan’s location?

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  • NAkhtar
    Dec 16, 2012 - 8:16AM

    who is providing rocket and modern technology to these barbarion?

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  • Blithe
    Dec 16, 2012 - 8:20AM

    Sad event

    And also sad that all natiional institutions are being named after a known anti-Pakistani, Bacha Khan

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  • Dec 16, 2012 - 8:31AM

    @S: Allah (SWT) helps those who help themselves. Meaning to say, that if we civilians just sit and criticize, we will not be able to carry the day. We have to flush away our mistrust, create credibility through actions and build unity on a common ground. Then only can we form pressure groups to force the change on the corrupt and ineffective. The Taliban Khans will all fall in line and conform to the standard. Essentially, we have to decide what we have to do and then go ahead.
    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui: These terrorists are of our own creation. We have to rid ourselves of selfish, orthodox and conventional wisdom, in many ways, and plan ahead on educated lines. Unfortunately, the Quaid died after a year and the country fell into the mouths of waiting vultures that now are in charge. Education is the deciding factor to build on positive lines. If we have to prosper and get rid of Taliban Khans, it is not difficult. We just need the will to stand up and take up a position. After all, they are also humans and have the fear of defeat.
    Salams

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  • True Indian
    Dec 16, 2012 - 8:45AM

    There is only one song which can describe the situation of Pakistan Army: “Mere haathon mein nau-nau chooddiyaan hain, thoda thehro sajan majbooriyaan hain…”

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  • vasan
    Dec 16, 2012 - 9:24AM

    AXIS : You are out of your axis. What kind of satisfaction is that comparing your tragic incident to that of Indias. The only similarity is both the incidents were due to pakistanis. Pakistan inspite of being on terror alert 24X7, still goes thru violence, bombing, suicide attacks, rocket attacks everyday. But India was caught napping . That was a mistake to trust Pakistan We will never do it. I suggest instead of point scoring on the Keyboard, go to the air port and help clear the debris. You better do it fast because you dont know where and when the next attack inside pakistan will be.

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  • Ali
    Dec 16, 2012 - 9:28AM

    ” Taliban claims responsible ” is it the GOOD Taliban or the Bad Taliban……………why is not the good taliban protecting us from the bad Taliban.or has the good Taliban changed to Bad Taliban.

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  • Dec 16, 2012 - 9:29AM

    They have admitted their crime,they have accepted the sin committed at Peshawer air port.
    Killer of human being said,we are responsible for this attack,we killed innocent children with women,

    they were 10 in number took part in this so-called ”jehad”
    According to them air base of this islamic country was their target,

    They also confessed of two eplosive laden vehicles which had been used at other places.

    Kidnaping their busuness,bloodshed their interested game,They are muslim,In fact they are black dot on the face of muslim and humanity.

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  • Maria
    Dec 16, 2012 - 10:11AM

    @Enlightened: It sounds you are upset about the success of Pakistani forces in thwarting cowards working for the enemies of Pakistan. Think about it Your Indian trained and funded criminals were sent over from your puppets in Afghanistan and they couldn’t breech the security of Pakistani forces. Well done Pakistan military. Keep these coward criminals on the defensive and keep defeating them!

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  • Hemant
    Dec 16, 2012 - 10:18AM

    @The Fact:
    Entirely agree Countries which play in Internatinal geopolitics for short term tactical gains are bound to lose .
    In hind sight we must admire the sagacity and wisdom of Nehru who kept india friecely non aligned away from all internatinal alliances .

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  • JSM
    Dec 16, 2012 - 10:21AM

    Intel agencies failed.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 16, 2012 - 10:45AM

    First Navel Base Karachi,second Kamra and third now Peshawar Airport.These all attacks are being taken place or conducted in Pakistan as a consequence of and just due to the US’ war within Pakistan on the commandments of Pakistani leadership’s worldly master USA……

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  • Asaad
    Dec 16, 2012 - 11:21AM

    Sad news hope it all ends soon but it seems its just the beginning . These people dont have a merciful heart for anyone so we just need to be extra careful and alert at things happening around us . No democratic government will be able to tackle them as in reality they support the groups which support these terrorist organisations. Pakistan cannot be safe in democratic rule

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  • ishrat salim
    Dec 16, 2012 - 11:39AM

    Unless we infiltrate the TTP..we will never win this war…intel to be ahead of them is important which we lack as evident from the details emerging that the suicide bomber & his handler caught last week had confessed that their target was Airport…yet what did we do to protect it…? it seem we already decided to give up on this war….TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan calls the media to claim such attack from an undisclosed location, yet we have not yet able to trace those calls, nor do we have any law to force media to provide call numbers so that it could be traced or to install equipments in all such media houses to trace such calls, when we know this war is long & dangerous…

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  • Enlightened
    Dec 16, 2012 - 12:33PM

    @sultan ahmed:
    Fully agree with your comments, 40000 already killed and still counting, attacks on GHQ, Kamran, Mehran and Peshawar military bases and soldiers beheaded many times but still no operations launched against TTP why ? Is half a million well equipped and trained army cannot defeat a couple of thousand militants or they have some hidden agenda on their mind ?

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  • ahmed41
    Dec 16, 2012 - 4:48PM

    You write : __” Taliban claim responsibility

    The Pakistani Taliban late on Saturday claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on Peshawar airport.

    “We carried out this suicide attack, we will carry more such attacks on this airport,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.—“

    So~~~~~~~~~? Who are the Taliban responsible to ?

    OK they killed & injured ; but for what concrete political or ideological gain. ?

    Was their objective achieved ?

    Is total nihilism the only way to push forward ones agenda ?

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  • MAK
    Dec 16, 2012 - 5:34PM

    though i m quite a fan or army but here i can’t give the credit to the army. according to reliable sources all the 5 taliban terrorists were killed by university town residents (most of whom possess assault weapons) who reside opposite the airport. When they heard grenade attacks they climbed atop the roofs and saw the terrorists trying to blast the thick boundary wall and launching grenades/mortars inside. So they fired from behind with vantage points and killed them all. The army/security forces were on the other side of the wall (inside the airport limits) all that time.

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  • Nitish
    Dec 16, 2012 - 7:00PM

    Why pak army is killing them ruthlessly?What do they think actually?taliban has lethal weapon?If so,then they r wrong.It will lead to more killing and counter killing finally more human right violation.

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  • Nitish
    Dec 16, 2012 - 8:30PM

    “taliban has lethal weapon?”
    It shoud be read as “Taliban has less lethal weapon”Recommend

  • Patriotic Pakistani
    Dec 16, 2012 - 9:10PM

    This is a decisive moment in our history either we wipe out the taliban or get wiped out ourselves. Please recognize this enemy. Don’t be led astray by the goofs who say that it is a reaction to the drone attacks. These taliban are like a cancer that wants to eat up the country. They will continue their despicable agenda even if all drone attacks stop. I suggest radiation therapy to eliminate this cancer. Don’t waste men and resources in fighting them. Just nuke their strongholds after giving an ultimatum to all civilians to evacuate. All evacuating people should be cleared by army and intelligence. What good are these nuclear assets if we just sit and watch while the enemy makes us bleed. These people cannot be reasoned with.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 16, 2012 - 10:08PM

    @Maria:
    And of course you can provide us proof that these were “Your Indian trained and funded criminals…..” responsible for this attack!!!

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  • Rex Minor
    Dec 17, 2012 - 5:50AM

    This is civil war, which is caused when one group of citizens want to use force against the second group of people. Dialogue and accomodation is the solution and not the cofrontation. Pakistan military should defend the borders and not villages and towns within the country, which in essece is the task of residents. This is how democracy is practiced and not with the assistance of the military.

    Rex Minor

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  • HC
    Dec 17, 2012 - 6:37AM

    Have they released the names of the civilians injured/killed?@Moxet:

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