Security forces early on Saturday foiled a terrorist assault on the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Training Airbase in Mianwali, according to statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), killing three terrorists and ‘isolating’ three others in the process.
“On Nov. 4, 2023, in the early hours of the day, Mianwali Training Air Base of Pakistan Air Force came under a failed terrorist attack,” read a statement issued by the military’s media wing. It said the “swift and effective response” of troops had foiled and thwarted the infiltration attempt, “ensuring the safety and security of personnel and assets.”
According to the ISPR, three of the alleged terrorists were “neutralized while entering the base while remaining three terrorists have been cornered/isolated due to timely and effective response by the troops.” However, it added, three ground aircraft and a fuel bowser were partly damaged during the standoff.
Vowing to eliminate the “menace of terrorism from the country at all costs,” the military’s media wing said a “comprehensive” clearance and combing operation had cleared the area of all militants. “The prompt and professional conclusion of the operation serves as a stark reminder to all enemies of peace that Pakistan’s armed forces remain vigilant and are fully capable of defending the homeland from any threat,” it added.
The early morning assault came a day after 17 soldiers were martyred in various incidents across Pakistan, including during intelligence-based operations (IBOs) against terrorists. On Friday, 14 soldiers were martyred in Gwadar, Balochistan after militants targeted a security convoy. The same day, an IED bombing in Dera Ismail Khan resulted in the martyrdom of Havildar Shahid Iqbal, 39, resident of Mirpur Khas, while two soldiers were martyred during an exchange of gunfire with militants in Lakki Marwat. According to the ISPR, the martyred soldiers have been identified as Naik Zafar Iqbal, 37, resident of Gujranwala; and Sepoy Haji Jan, 30, resident of Ghizar. It said one terrorist was killed and several terrorist hideouts uncovered during the IBO.
Pakistan has been in the midst of a terror resurgence since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in Kabul. Incumbent Army chief Gen. Asim Munir has vowed that there would be no clemency for militants, stressing that their choices are between surrendering to the state or total eradication.