A siege at a Pakistani military base is over. According to a navy spokesman at least three Taliban militants have been killed and seven arrested, and the base is being cleared. Around 12 Pakistani troops are said to have been shot dead, with 11 others wounded.
The audacious attack on the country’s naval air force headquarters began late last night local time.
More than 20 heavily armed gunmen stormed the Karachi base, blowing up at least one aircraft and battling troops for over 12 hours.
The assault casts fresh doubt on the Pakistani military’s ability to protect its bases following an attack two years ago on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Unconfirmed media reports say the attackers made their way in through sewers. One Karachi resident expressed his shock over the raid in what is meant to be one of most secure parts of the coastal city.
“You can see how much security there is around this place. No ordinary person can get inside. How did these people get in? This means that our security is incompetent. This is obviously a security failure,” said Adnan Afsar.
The Pakistan Taliban, which is allied with al Qaeda, said the attack was to avenge Osama bin Laden’s death.