Monitoring Desk/Agencies
PASNI - The security forces recaptured Pasni airport after a fierce gunfight with dozens of terrorists on Saturday evening, reported private TV channels.
“The militants who had overrun the airport building have been driven out,” a government official told a TV channel.
Earlier, around 20 gunmen stormed Pasni airport and seized control of an air traffic control (ATC) radar post after killing a security guard .
The gunmen held the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff hostage until they found themselves outgunned by the security forces .
“The militants made eight personnel hostage after the attack,” an official told another TV channel on condition of anonymity, adding that one of them was killed after resistance.
The militants fled away the site but only after destroying some technical equipment and planting a bomb at the air traffic control post .
Quoting Balochistan Home Department official, another TV channel reported that there were several BC [Baloch Constabulary] personnel guarding the radar post set up on the mountain top. Armed men locked BC personnel inside the room after shooting.
The armed men then attached explosive materials to the radar and sped away. According to a local official, they also fired few rocket-propelled grenades on the radar , partially damaging the installation.
According to a local official, the attackers had travelled to the radar in two vehicles and were armed with sophisticated weapons.
The radar had been set up by the Pakistan Air Force to monitor international air traffic.
The dead Constabulary man was identified as Mohammed Jan, a resident of Turbat, and was shifted to a state-run hospital. Identity of the attackers is not yet known.
The assailants planted a bomb after the attack but the bomb disposal squad was called in to defuse it.
The Pasni radar post is located 131 kilometres east of port city of Gwadar. According to CAA, the radar is used to help control air traffic coming from Gulf states. The radar was undamaged and remained operational throughout the ordeal, a CAA spokesman said.
Meanwhile, a bomb blast targeting a vehicle carrying security forces killed a young girl and wounded 18 others - including up to eight children - in Quetta on Saturday.
The attack occurred in the Saryab area on the outskirts of Quetta . “An improvised explosive device, which was planted in an auto rickshaw parked along the roadside went off as a vehicle of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) passed by it,” city police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP.
He said a girl was killed and 18 others were injured, three of them seriously. The wounded included up to eight children, he added, without giving ages.
A minor girl succumbed to her injuries on way to a hospital. The injured also included women and three FC personnel .
Senior police official Imran Qureshi said the blast was so powerful that it smashed the windows of nearby homes and shops.
Sariab road is considered to be one of the sensitive areas of Quetta . Militants have been targeting security forces in this area for more than a decade.
Balochistan Home Minister, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti visited the injured at the hospital and announced that the severely wounded would be shifted to Karachi for treatment if the need arose.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. However, police suspect that Baloch militants operating in the area carried out the attack.
Quetta and other cities of Balochistan are rife with separatist and militants and plagued by sectarian bloodshed.
Quetta has been hit by numerous attacks in recent years, including two devastating bombings in early 2013 which targeted minority Hazaras and killed nearly 180 people.
Balochistan, rich in copper, gold and natural gas, is Pakistan’s largest but least populous province.
The latest armed insurgency rose up in 2004 and separatist groups still regularly attack security forces .
Rights groups accuse the military and agencies of kidnapping and killing suspected rebels before leaving their bodies by the roadside.
Security forces on Saturday arrested three suspected terrorists and recovered weapons and drugs from their possession in Sabgi area here.
According to security sources, on a tip-off, the security forces raided a house and arrested three suspected terrorists.
Arms and drugs were also recovered from possession of the terrorists and they were shifted to an undisclosed place for investigation.