The video suggested that the attackers were supplied by a TTP group from Darra Adam Khel, part of the restive tribal areas near Peshawar, named after a deceased militant commander known as “the jackal”. Details about how the attackers managed to make their way into a mosque inside the compound walls and kill 16 people during prayers were sketchy.
This is the seventh time that an air force installation has come under militant attack.
Bajwa said the militants entered the base at two points, splitting into sub-groups, sparking a fierce gunbattle with security forces.
Bangash said the attackers threw grenades at the guard room but they could not enter the main area.
This attack was confirmed by Major General Asim Bajwa, who stated that immediately after the violence, the area was surrounded by security men who started their search for the rest of the absconding gunmen.
Moreover, he said that two army officers and eight soldiers were injured during an exchange of fire with terrorists. “Encounter started instantly”, Bajwa tweeted. He added that the attack was planned in Afghanistan and was also being controlled from Afghanistan further adding that the intelligence agencies were working on the information intercepts of the terrorists.
The assault shows the Taliban retain the capability to mount devastating attacks despite a military campaign and a government crackdown against them following the massacre of more than 150 people, mostly children, at an army-run school last December.
Sharif also reached Peshawar and visited the wounded soldiers and civilians in hospital.
Nearby residents said explosions and gunfire could still be heard more than three hours after the attack took place.
Western diplomats in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad said Friday’s attack needed to be thoroughly investigated for any evidence of a possible breach of security.
It said the attack was meant to avenge counterterrorism operations Pakistans military has undertaken against the groups strongholds and fighters.
According to the DG ISPR, a 13-member squad attacked a mosque inside the base, but claimed all the militants were killed in the fighting.
Air force chief Sohail Aman had briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the attack, the air force said.
A PM’s House spokesman said the Premier was personally monitoring the operation.
The army launched the “Zarb-e-Azb” operation in June 2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in North Waziristan tribal area and so bring an end to the bloody decade-long Islamist insurgency that has cost Pakistan thousands of lives.