Wednesday, August 15, 2012

UNDER CONTROL: Militants Attacked, Entered Pakistan Nuclear Air Base

Pakistan's nukes on display
UPDATE 2: Taliban Attack On Pakistan Airbase Foiled

UPDATE 1: IT'S ALL UNDER CONTROL. A report by SiasiTV (Pakistan) says that the situation is "under control now. Terrorists didn't get to destroy a jet due to prompt action of forces." (See their video, below, and Siasi's page on Facebook for updates.)

Earlier Reports:

PAKISTAN - A Pakistan Air Force base is under attack, probably by Taliban militants. PAF Kamra Airbase (also called PAF Minhas Airbase) is thought to have nuclear weapons. [Map]

The gun fighting was ongoing, according to reports of 8:00 p.m. EDT/New York time. Earliest reports said that as many as nine militants "wearing military uniforms had attacked the airbase," according to Tribune.com.pk.

"The militants were said to be armed with automatic weapons, grenades and suicide vests," reports Dawn.com (Pakistan). "Intense exchange of fire between militants and forces ensued after the attackers infiltrated the base."  Dawn also notes that Kamra airbase "is a heavily guarded compound with the Pakistan Air Force’s Kamra Aeronautical Complex in its vicinity, where Pakistan assembles and overhauls fighter jets in collaboration with China. Located about 70 kms from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the base is known to house the PAF’s JF-7 Thunder and Mirage jets."  Dawn says that "least 30 aircraft were on the base" according to sources.

The airbase, in Punjab province, is approximately 60 kilometres (37 miles) northwest of Islamabad, Pakistan's capitol city. The attackers are most likely Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Business Insider reports that gunmen have "attacked and entered an air force base in central Pakistan." The attack came Thursday, Aug. 16 local time.

The Pakistani air calling the attackers “terrorists,” which the Pakistanis often call the Taliban and similar groups, says Reuters. Mulitple reports say that the "intense" and "heavy" gunfire has been ongoing for at least three hours. The Business Insider story cites multiple news sources.  For live updates, see "Kamra airbase attack: Live updates" at Tribune.com.pk.

Nukes: Come and get 'em
Intelligence knew that this specific attack was probable. Tribune.com.pk reported that the threat was great on August 10. "The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planning attacks on the Pakistan Air Force Base and other military and security establishments in Lahore before Eid," reporter Asad Kharal wrote, "according to intelligence reports received by the Home Department."  

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