A group of terrorists armed with sophisticated weapons and suicide vests today stormed a key Pakistan Air Force base in Punjab province that is believed to house nuclear weapons, triggering an intense gun battle that left seven attackers and a security personnel dead. The terrorists, some of whom were reportedly wearing military uniforms, sneaked into Kamra airbase at about 2 am despite a state of high alert at the facility. The attackers breached at least three barriers and tried to target Saab-2000 surveillance aircraft, news channels reported. Following a gun battle that lasted over three hours, seven terrorists were gunned down by commandos, a PAF spokesman told the media. He said eight terrorists were involved in the attack. There was no word on the fate of the remaining attacker.
The spokesman said explosives were strapped to the body of one attacker. He said the attackers were engaged by two teams of commandos. The spokesman said one security personnel was killed and several others, including base commander Air Commodore Muhammad Azam, were injured. Azam, who was leading the operations, was hit by a bullet but he is “safe and stable”, the spokesman said. Earlier reports had said two security personnel were killed. The military’s media arm told reporters that the situation at the Kamra airbase was under control and troops were conducting a search operation to ascertain if any more terrorists were inside the complex. The PAF spokesman said one aircraft was damaged when it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the attackers. He did not give details of the extent of the damage.
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