Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Gunmen storm naval air base in Karachi

Video by Olivia Salazar-Winspear

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-23

Pakistani security forces continued to battle gunmen at a military base in Karachi early on Monday, hours after Islamist militants launched a brazen attack on the heavily guarded site, killing at least five people.

REUTERS - An overnight battle with militants at Pakistan's naval aviation base erupted again after dawn on Monday, with blasts ringing out and choppers hovering overhead as security forces launched a counter-offensive.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the brazen attack on the base by 15-20 gunmen, saying it was to avenge the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2.
 
"It was the revenge of martyrdom of Osama bin Laden. It was the proof that we are still united and powerful," Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
 
More than 30 troops entered the PNS Mehran base in the southern city of Karachi as the battle resumed in the morning and eight blasts were heard in the space of 30 minutes.
 
"The operation still continues. It is not over yet," said one security official, eight hours after the militants stormed the installation with guns and grenades, killing at least five people and blowing up a military aircraft.
 
Eleven people were wounded in the attack on one of the country's most heavily guarded military installations, where jet fuel tanks appeared to have caught fire and exploded.
 
Those killed in the assault, which started at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, included a sailor, three firefighters and an Army ranger.
 
"They were carrying guns, rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and hand grenades. They hit the aircraft with an RPG," Navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali said.
 
Hostilities continue in the naval base, Nicolas Brulliard reports from Pakistan
The Karachi attack evoked memories of an assault on Pakistan's army headquarters in the town of Rawalpindi in 2009, and revived concerns that even the most well-guarded installations in the country remain vulnerable to militants.
 
A spokesman said one P-3C Orion, a maritime patrol aircraft, had been destroyed and that intermittent gunfire was continuing.
 
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said earlier that the militants had attacked from the rear of the base.
 
"We have been able to confine them to one building and an operation is underway either to kill or capture them," he said.
 
Media reports said the attackers had made their way in through a sewer line, but that was not confirmed. The military's goal was to capture as many of the attackers alive as possible, Pakistan television reported.
 
Pakistani military and paramilitary reinforcements poured in after the attack began, with four vehicles carrying about 10 troops each moving into the base.
 
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack.
 
"Such a cowardly act of terror could not deter the commitment of the government and people of Pakistan to fight terrorism," Gilani said in statement.
 
Wave of bombings
 
Pakistan has faced a wave of bombings and gun assaults over the last few years, some of them claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Pakistani Taliban.
 
Others have been blamed on al Qaeda-linked militant groups once nurtured by the Pakistani military which have since slipped out of control.
 
The TTP, which has links with al Qaeda, is led by Hakimullah Mehsud, a brutal militant commander whose fighters regularly clash with the Pakistan army in the northwest of the country.
 
 It also claimed responsibility for being behind the botched plot to bomb New York's Times Square last year.
 
The discovery that bin Laden was living in the garrison town of Abbottabad, not far from the Pakistan Military Academy, has revived suspicions that militants may be receiving help from some people within the security establishment.
 
Pakistan and the United States say the senior leadership in the country did not know bin Laden was in Abbottabad.
 
Washington sees nuclear-armed Pakistan as a key, if troubled, ally in the region essential to its attempts to root out militant forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
 
"We condemn the attack and our sympathies are with the families of those injured or killed," the White House said in a statement.
 
On April 28, suspected militants detonated a roadside bomb in Karachi, killing four members of the navy, the third attack on the navy in a week.
 
The attack came two days after two bombs hit buses carrying navy personnel, killing four people and wounding 56. Taliban insurgents took responsibility for the twin attacks.

 

Date created : 2011-05-22

  • PAKISTAN

    Deadly blast targets NATO fuel tanker

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Taliban claims attack on US consulate convoy

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban kill dozens in attack on Afghan construction site

    Read more

COMMENT(S)