5 years, 1 month ago
On May 19 The Daily Times reported the following:
Around 100 insurgents attacked an important security checkpoint near Peshawar early Wednesday, sparking a three-hour clash that killed two police officers and 15 militants besides wounding five others, police said.
The attack on the Sangu Mera checkpoint comes amid Taliban threats to avenge the May 2 US raid that killed Osama bin Laden elsewhere in Pakistan’s volatile northwest.
Two constables Liaq Khan and Zahid Shah were killed when terrorists armed with automatic weapons attacked a police checkpost on Wednesday, SSP Operation Ejaz Khan said.
Senior police official Liaquat Ali Khan said the terrorists bore rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons when they attacked the security forces overnight. But eventually the insurgents were pushed back.
In another report, AFP is discussing an engagement in Karachi:
Gunmen armed with rockets and explosives stormed a major Pakistani naval air base, triggering gunbattles that killed five military personnel, three weeks after the US killing of Osama bin Laden.
Around 10 people were wounded and towering flames rose over PNS Mehran in the centre of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, where the military and government confirmed that the base was under “terrorist attack”.
An AFP reporter saw swarms of soldiers and navy commando reinforcements pile into the base as smoke rose into the night sky. Over a period of several hours, an AFP photographer heard nine blasts and periodic bursts of gunfire.
A spokesman for the Pakistan Navy said fighting was still continuing more than five hours after the attack began at around 10:45 pm (1745 GMT) on Sunday.
“Fighting is still going on. Four navy and one paramilitary personnel were martyred during the exchange of fire,” navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali told AFP.
“They have destroyed two P-3c Orion aircraft,” he added.
Last June, the United States delivered two P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft to PNS Mehran.
There was no claim of responsibility but Pakistan’s military has long been on the frontline of attacks blamed on the Taliban and other Al-Qaeda-linked militant groups that have killed more than 4,350 people in four years.
The Taliban have recently stepped up threats against Western and Pakistani government targets to avenge the killing of bin Laden by US Navy SEALs in the garrison city of Abbottabad near the capital Islamabad on May 2.
Officials estimated that up to 15 militants crept up to the base on three sides, using the cover of night to approach seemingly undetected through neighbouring civilian residential areas and through trees and foliage.
“The attackers first fired rockets,” Ali earlier told the ARY television station, denying any staff had been taken hostage but conceding that a long-range Orion aircraft had been destroyed.
“The terrorists also used small bombs and now they are firing with sophisticated weapons. They are inside and still resisting,” he added.
But in this last instance, massing of forces? Hmmm … not so much. Up to 15 militants. And several hours later they were still fighting to keep “commando reinforcements” at bay. Perhaps this last report is more about Pakistani military incompetence than about Taliban massing of forces.