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Afghan NATO air strike kills militants: ISAF
by Staff Writers
Kunar, Afghanistan (AFP) Aug 18, 2012

Pakistan air man dies after audacious base assault
Islamabad (AFP) Aug 17, 2012 - A second air man died of injuries sustained in an audacious Islamist assault on a key Pakistani air base, raising the overall death toll from the attack to 11, the military said Friday.

Heavily armed militants dressed in fatigues and wearing suicide vests stormed the base on Thursday, sparking heavy clashes that killed one security official and nine attackers at PAF Base Minhas in the northwestern town of Kamra.

Air Force spokesman Tariq Mahmood told AFP that a second air man had died in hospital on Friday morning as a result of injuries from the assault.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed what was the worst attack on a military base for more than a year, reviving concerns about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

PAF Minhas, in Punjab province and only 60 kilometres (35 miles) northwest of Islamabad, has been attacked twice before, but on previous occasions the militants had not managed to penetrate the compound.

Its aeronautical complex assembles Mirage and, with Chinese help, JF-17 fighter jets.

A NATO air strike on Saturday killed at least two dozen militants in eastern Afghanistan, the military alliance's force in the country said.

The air strike, carried out with the approval of Afghan forces, came after the allies "observed a large group of insurgents in a remote area and engaged them," a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force told AFP.

"There are no civilian casualties," he added. "Afghan and foreign forces are currently conducting a follow-up assessment."

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mudjahid, speaking to AFP from an undisclosed location, confirmed the attack, saying 13 of the group's fighters were killed.

The militants had gathered to publicly execute a man accused of killing another man from a rival family a day before in Chapa Dara district of Kunar province, the district police chief Najibullah Gujar told AFP.

"Between 40 and 60 Taliban militants were killed in the air strike in Chapa Dara," he said.

"People had arrested the killer and the Taliban wanted to execute him in public."

But Mohammad Daud Zarba, deputy police chief of Kunar, told AFP the militants wanted to attack and take over the district. He said around 30 militants were killed in the attack.

Dost Mohammad, a witness in the area, told AFP that the burnt bodies of the Taliban were still on the ground.

"Out of around 80 Taliban who had come to settle the dispute only around 15 could escape the bombing," he said.

In some parts of the war-torn country where the government has no control, the Taliban operate a parallel government, with shadow governors and their own Sharia justice system.

Public executions of alleged murderers and adulterers were common when the Taliban regime was in power from 1996 until 2001, when they were ousted by a US-led invasion following the September 11 attacks.


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Taliban attack Pakistan air base, 10 dead: officials
Kamra, Pakistan (AFP) Aug 17, 2012
Heavily armed militants stormed a Pakistani air force base on Thursday, sparking clashes that left 10 people dead and raised concerns about the safety of the country's nuclear arsenal. One security official was killed and a plane damaged in the pre-dawn assault at PAF Base Minhas claimed by the Taliban as militants again proved able to penetrate a sensitive military site five years into an i ... read more

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