A fierce gun battle between Pakistani security forces and militants holed up
in a house on the outskirts of Peshawar left six people, including a policeman,
dead today, hours after an abortive bid by Taliban to storm an air force base in
the city claimed nine lives.
The militants armed with automatic weapons grenades and mortars battled with
police in Pawaka, a suburb of Peshawar. Apart from the policeman, five militants
were killed in the clash.
Three of the militants were gunned down by police and army troops while two
others blew themselves up after they were surrounded by soldiers, the military's
media arm said.
Two more policemen were injured in the clash.
The dead militants were part of a group of Taliban suicide attackers who tried
to attack the Peshawar airbase last night.
Residents of Pawaka, located a short distance from the airport, said five
militants took shelter in a house being built in the area at about 7.30 am.
The armed men demanded that they should be given a car. They also warned people
not to alert the police, local residents told the media.
Police and army troops reached the spot a few hours later after they were
alerted by local residents.
Security forces sealed off the area and conducted a search and clearance
operation to flush out the militants.
Three militants were gunned down in the alleys of Pawaka while the other two
detonated their explosive vests after security forces surrounded the compound
where they were hiding.
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