Pak wrests naval base after 17-hr Taliban siege
From : Times of India.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s security forces regained control of Karachi’s Mehran naval base after a night-long firefight with Taliban militants on Monday, killing four assailants and losing at least 10 of their men in one of the most audacious sieges in that country, lasting 17 hours.
The attackers armed with grenades, rocket-launchers and automatic weapons, swore revenge of “martyrdom of Osama bin Laden” and stormed the base under cover of darkness using ladders and cutting the wire to get into the facility late on Sunday night. Once in, they scattered around the sprawling compound setting off explosions and destroying two US-made PC-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, each worth Rs 162 crore.
Two attackers were shot dead and one blew himself up. While two militants escaped, a third is believed to be lying, possibly dead, under the debris. Among the 17 foreigners at the spot, 11 Chinese aviation trainers were safely evacuated, said Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik.
The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack to avenge bin Laden’s death. “It was the revenge of martyrdom of Osama bin Laden. It was the proof that we are still united and powerful,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters from an undisclosed location.
The militants made full use of the darkness to keep the security forces engaged all night, hiding in the vast facility ringed with a concrete wall with about five feet of concertina wire on top. Pakistan navy spokesman Irfan-ul-Haq said the militants hid in and fired from an office building until Monday afternoon.
The assault was the worst on Pakistan’s military since a similar raid on Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009. Terrorists had stormed the headquarters close to Islamabad and held hostages for 22 hours. The attack on the facility raises fresh doubts about the military’s capability to protect its bases and further embarrasses Pakistan’s security establishment following the US raid to take out bin Laden from the northwestern town of Abbottabad on May 2.
Experts slammed the security lapse that led to the attack and feared that the attackers had insider support.
Journalist Nasim Zehra said, “The attack only highlighted the need for the government and military to accept that insiders were facilitating the terrorists.” She said it is impossible for these terrorists to have so much information about aircraft presence on the base without inside help.”
Islamist Militants Attack Pakistan Naval Base
From : Huffington Post.
KARACHI, Pakistan — Islamist militants stormed a naval base in the Pakistani city of Karachi late Sunday, destroying a U.S.-supplied surveillance aircraft, firing rockets and battling commandos sent to subdue them in one of the most brazen attacks in years, officials said.
At least four navy personnel were killed and nine wounded in fighting at the Naval Station Mehran, said navy spokesman Irfan ul Haq. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack as fighting was still reportedly going on Monday morning, saying it was part of their revenge for the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
It was unclear how many militants were killed or wounded. But between 10 and 15 attackers entered the high-security facility before splitting into smaller groups, setting off explosions and hiding in the sprawling facility, Haq said.
“We are receiving fire from different directions,” said another spokesman, Salman Ali.
The coordinated strike rocked the country’s largest city just under three weeks after the May 2 death of bin Laden in a U.S. Navy SEALs raid in the northwest garrison city of Abbottabad, an event al-Qaida-allied extremists in Pakistan have vowed to avenge.
The unilateral American raid triggered a strong backlash against Washington, which is trying to support Pakistan in its fight against militants, as well as rare domestic criticism against the armed forces for failing to detect or prevent the operation. Read details here …. Revenge of Osama ?