Militants storm key Pakistan Air Force base

Daring assault Early Thursday morning, suspected militants wearing Pakistani Air Force uniforms attacked the Minhas Air Force base, which is believed to hold some of the country’s nuclear weapons, damaging one aircraft and sparking a clash that left nine militants and one Pakistani soldier dead (Reuters, NYT, The News, Post, Tel, Guardian). Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ...

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

Daring assault

Early Thursday morning, suspected militants wearing Pakistani Air Force uniforms attacked the Minhas Air Force base, which is believed to hold some of the country's nuclear weapons, damaging one aircraft and sparking a clash that left nine militants and one Pakistani soldier dead (Reuters, NYT, The News, Post, Tel, Guardian). Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, and said that the attackers killed "more than a dozen security personnel" and destroyed three aircraft (Dawn, ET). The TTP often exaggerate the facts about their operations.

A Pakistani police official said Thursday that gunmen in the Naran Valley -- around 100 miles north of the capital -- had forced some 20 Shi'a Muslims off of four buses and killed them as they were en route from Rawalpindi to Gilgit, a primarily Shi'a region in northeastern Pakistan (ET, AP, Dawn). And in the southern province of Balochistan on Wednesday night, a private security guard was killed and eight others were injured when a bomb planted underneath a hotel was detonated (ET).

Daring assault

Early Thursday morning, suspected militants wearing Pakistani Air Force uniforms attacked the Minhas Air Force base, which is believed to hold some of the country’s nuclear weapons, damaging one aircraft and sparking a clash that left nine militants and one Pakistani soldier dead (Reuters, NYT, The News, Post, Tel, Guardian). Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, and said that the attackers killed "more than a dozen security personnel" and destroyed three aircraft (Dawn, ET). The TTP often exaggerate the facts about their operations.

A Pakistani police official said Thursday that gunmen in the Naran Valley — around 100 miles north of the capital — had forced some 20 Shi’a Muslims off of four buses and killed them as they were en route from Rawalpindi to Gilgit, a primarily Shi’a region in northeastern Pakistan (ET, AP, Dawn). And in the southern province of Balochistan on Wednesday night, a private security guard was killed and eight others were injured when a bomb planted underneath a hotel was detonated (ET).

A group of former U.S. Special Forces officers have released a 22-minute video accusing President Barack Obama of taking too much credit for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, and of leaking classified information for his own political gain (CNN, AFP).

Moderate voices

A leading member of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Agha Jan Motasim, has called for an end to the war in Afghanistan, urging the United States and the United Nations to release Taliban prisoners and relax sanctions on Taliban leaders still at large in order to facilitate peace talks (AFP). Motasim was the finance minister while the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, and served as the head of the group’s political committee until 2009.

Three Afghan soldiers were killed early Thursday morning when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb while on patrol in the northern province of Baghlan (AP).

Femmes dangereuses

Police in Islamabad on Wednesday arrested an unusual group of con artists — three women who posed as hitchhikers, and then generously offered their unsuspecting driver a refreshing beverage (ET). But the drink had been laced with a sedative, and the victim awoke unharmed later in his own car, but short a phone and Rs100,000 in cash.

— Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

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