PESHAWAR: As many as 36 persons, including 13 militants and an army captain were killed and 10 others were injured when armed militants stormed Pakistan Air Force base in Badhabera area of Peshawar early this morning.

Eyewitnesses and the ISPR said that around thirteen militants wearing Frontier Constabulary uniforms came in a white Suzuki and entered the base at two different points. The militants first hurled hand grenades on the gates and then succeeded to enter the nearby mosques situated inside the base. The security personnel exchanged intense firing with militants, however some of them succeeded in their entry inside the mosques.

Eye witnesses said that militants were eight in number and were in black uniforms while security forces said that the militants were 13 in number and came in a white Suzuki parked outside the entry point of the base.

Pakistan Air Force spokesman said that two junior PAF technicians were killed in the attack, and that both airmen were deployed at the guardroom when the attack occurred.

They opened indiscriminate firing inside the mosques and hurled hand grenades resulting the deaths of 16 worshipers, two junior technicians and army captain Asfandyar.

The attack also resulted in 10 security personnel getting inujured who participated in the encounter against the militants. Captain Asfandyar got commission in 118 PMA long course and remained commander of the Jinnah wing.

The encounter also resulted in the deaths of 13 militants whose dead bodies were laying inside and outside the base and were later shifted inside the base for further investigation. 

A heavy contingent of Police and security forces cordoned off the area and started the search and rescue operation. Three army helicopters participated in the operation however one of the copter landed in emergency due to some technical reason.

Rescue 112 and army emergency vehicle shifted the rescue person to combined Military Hospital Peshawar and Lady Reading Hospital. Hospital sources said that some of the injured were in critical condition.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani said that most of the militants were killed before their entry into the base, however, a few succeeded in their entry. He said that the security has been highly alerted and police has been put on standby after the attack in all over Peshawar.

Later, Chief of Army Staff General, Raheel Sharif and Air Chief Marsahal Sohail Aman also visited Peshawar. They were briefed by the Corps Commander Peshawar regarding the overall security situation of the airbase.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Spokesman Muhammad Khurassani, in an email, claimed responsibility for the attack.  He said that several army personnel were harassed and some of them were killed inside. He said that two of their fighters were killed in the attack.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and expressed deep sorrow over the killing of innocent people and the army captain Asfandyar Bukhari. He also expressed heartfelt sympathies with the families of the affected persons.

Pakistan Air Force airbase is situated on Inqilab road in Badhabera. The base has a historical significance as the base was also used as a monitoring center in the former soviet war aimed to guard the frontiers of the country against any possible aggression from the western border.