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All five militants dead as operation concludes in Peshawar
[Dawn] Six people were killed Sunday as police and troops battled faceless myrmidons armed with automatic weapons, grenades and mortars in northwest Pakistain's Beautiful Downtown Peshawar of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, a day after a deadly Taliban raid on the city's airport.

Fierce firing broke out after police acting on an intelligence report stormed a building near the airport, where a suicide and rocket attack on Saturday killed five civilians and the five attackers, and maimed 50 other people.

The assault late Saturday, claimed by the Pak Taliban, sparked prolonged gunfire and forced authorities to close the airport, a commercial hub and Pakistain Air Force (PAF) base in Peshawar on the edge of the tribal belt.

Police backed by troops launched a raid early Sunday on a building under construction near the airport following reports that five faceless myrmidons who fled after the airport attack had taken refuge there, according to provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

In the fierce shootout that followed, three faceless myrmidons and a coppers were killed, police said, while two other officers were maimed.

The festivities ended after six hours when the two remaining faceless myrmidons detonated their boom jackets inside the building, another senior police officer, Imtiaz Altaf, told AFP.

"All five faceless myrmidons are dead now and the area has been cleared," Altaf said.

"All of them were wearing suicide jackets. Three were killed in a shoot out with police, while two others blew themselves up in the under construction building." A PAF statement said five attackers were killed on Saturday and no damage was done to air force personnel or equipment.

Doctor Umar Ayub, chief of Khyber Teaching Hospital near the airport, said five civilians had also been killed and some 50 maimed.

"The base is in total control and normal operations have resumed. The security alert was also raised on other PAF air bases as well," the air force added.

Peshawar airport is a joint military-civilian facility. Civil Aviation Authority front man Pervez George said the passenger side had reopened after an 18-hour closure and there was no damage to the terminals.

The air force said Saturday's attackers used two vehicles loaded with explosives, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. One vehicle was destroyed and the second badly damaged.

Security forces found three suicide jackets near one of the vehicles, it said.

"Security forces consisting of Pakistain Air Force and Army personnel who were on full alert, cordoned off the base and effectively repulsed the attack," the air force said.

Television pictures showed a vehicle with a smashed windscreen, another damaged car, bushes on fire and what appeared to be a large breach in a wall.

Five nearby houses were destroyed after rockets landed on them and several other houses developed cracks, while the bomb squad detonated five out of eight bombs found near the base after the attack.

Pak Taliban front man Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location that the group would continue to target the airport.

"Our target was jet fighter planes and gunship helicopters and soon we will target them again," he said.
Posted by:Fred