PESHAWAR – Five militants and a policeman were killed on Sunday as police and troops battled militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades and mortars in Peshawar, approximately 20 hours since the deadly Taliban raid on the city’s airport. Heavy gunbattle broke out after police acting on an intelligence report stormed an under-construction building near the airport, where five of the ten Taliban militants, who attacked the airport on Saturday, were holed up. The assault late Saturday had killed five civilians and five attackers and wounded 50 other people. It had also sparked prolonged gunfire and forced authorities to close the airport, a commercial hub and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base, which were declared secure and reopened on Sunday.The Sunday’s battle ended in the afternoon after continuing for hours when all five of the militants were finally killed by the security forces. In the process, a police cop also embraced martyrdom, provincial government and police officials said. After a Taliban spokesman claimed they had sent 10 militants to attack the Bacha Khan International Airport, the security agencies started a search for the possible fleeing militants, who they later learnt had taken refuge in an under-construction building in Pawoka village near the airport. On Sunday dawn when the labours reached for work at the under-construction house, the militants demanded blankets and vehicle to make their escape, but by then the security forces had cordoned off the area and fighting teams reached the spot. The militants hurled hand grenades on police armoured vehicle, killing policeman Sarir Khan and injuring two others. Police said that three militants were killed by the security forces while two of them exploded their suicide vests. Talking to media, SSP operations Imran Shahid said that police reached the site after proper planning and delay in their operation was part of their battle strategy. He said that three terrorists were killed in targeted action while two of their colleagues blew themselves up. According to a spokesman for the Inter Services Public Relations, all of the militants were foreigners and after successful operation, the airport area had been declared clear while scheduled flights had resumed at the Bacha Khan International Airport.Briefing media persons, Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that they had prior information about terror strike on Peshawar Airport and that is why security forces were alert to stage a counter attack. He said that four of the five militants who were hiding in the under-construction house were foreigners and one was a Pakistani. He added that another suspected militant had been apprehended by the security forces.Peshawar airport is a joint military-civilian facility. Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George said the passenger side had reopened after an 18-hour closure and there was no damage to the terminals. Pakistan Air Force said Saturday’s attackers used two vehicles loaded with explosives, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. One vehicle was destroyed and the second badly damaged.Inspector General of Police Akbar Khan Hoti, while talking to journalist, said that police are frontline fighters in the war on terrorism and they appreciate the courage of valiant cops who rendered numerous sacrifices for the cause of the nation. He said that earlier to this, several important terror bids had been foiled and thousand of kilograms of explosive material had been recovered from militant hideouts.Meanwhile, funeral prayer for the martyred police personnel Surer Khan was offered at Peshawar Police Lines, which was attended by Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, IG police Akbat Khan Hoti, Chief capital city police Imtiaz Iltaf and other high ranking police officers. Two injured police personnel were shifted to Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar where they were being provided with emergency medical treatment. The airport attack was the second militant attack in four months on a military air base in Pakistan. In August 2012, eleven persons were killed when heavily-armed insurgents wearing suicide vests stormed the PAF Kamra base. Doctor Umar Ayub, chief of Khyber Teaching Hospital near the airport, said five civilians had also been killed and some 50 wounded. “The base is in total control and normal operations have resumed. The security alert was also raised on other PAF air bases as well,” the air force added.“Security forces consisting of Pakistan Air Force and Army personnel who were on full alert, cordoned off the base and effectively repulsed the attack,” the PAF said of the initial strike. Television pictures showed a vehicle with a smashed windscreen, another damaged car, bushes on fire and what appeared to be a large breach in a wall.Five nearby houses were destroyed after rockets landed on them and several other houses developed cracks, while the bomb squad detonated five out of eight bombs found near the base after the attack.Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah said the target was not the civilian airport but the military facility. “Our target was jet fighter planes and gunship helicopters and soon we will target them again,” he told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. The armed forces have been waging a campaign against the Taliban in the northwest in recent years and militants frequently attack military targets. In May 2011, it took 17 hours to quell an assault claimed by the Taliban on an air base in Karachi. Pakistan says more than 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Its forces have for years been battling homegrown militants in the northwest.A report said that a case has been registered with the University Town Police Station against unknown militants for the rocket attack on the airport and nearby localities. However, it was not immediately clear if a separate case has been or would be registered for the suicide attack involving explosives-laden vehicle that damaged the airport wall. The gritty streets of Peshawar, the gateway to the Khyber Pass and Afghanistan beyond, have often been shaken by bomb attacks and shootings, but residents said this was the first significant raid on the heavily guarded airport.