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Peshawar airport comes under rocket attack; 2 killed

December 15, 2012 23:10 IST

At least three rockets were fired at the airport and nearby areas of Peshawar city in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing five persons and injuring 30 others, witnesses and rescue workers said.

The rockets, fired from an unknown location, landed on the perimeter of the Bacha Khan International Airport, University Town and another residential neighbourhood at around 9 pm, witnesses said.

Officials were quoted by TV news channels as saying that the rockets were fired from the tribal areas adjoining Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The blasts were followed by intense firing, and security forces returned fire, officials said.

Umar Ayub, a senior official of Khyber Teaching Hospital, said his facility had received two bodies and 30 injured.

Four of the wounded were in a serious condition and were mistakenly included among the dead shortly after the attack, he said.

Children, women and senior citizens were among the injured, all of whom were civilians.

They were injured by shrapnel from the rockets and bullets, Ayub said.

The army cordoned off the airport as all flights were cancelled.

Troops conducted an operation to ascertain if any militants had entered the airport.

TV channels reported that troops were exchanging fire with suspected militants almost 40 minutes after the rockets were fired at the airport.

No group claimed responsibility for the incident though such attacks are usually blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.

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