(Updates with last of attackers killed)
By Jibran Ahmad
PESHAWAR, Pakistan Dec 16 Militants holed up in
a half-built house in the northwestern Pakistani city of
Peshawar battled security forces on Sunday after taking part in
an attack on a nearby airport the previous night, officials
All five of the militants who were holed up in two buildings
under construction were killed by the afternoon, a provincial
government and army official said.
The shoot-out erupted hours after an attack on Peshawar
airport. The military declared the airport secure after killing
five attackers who rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the
outer wall of the airfield and battled guards after dark on
The raid on the airport was the biggest assault on a
high-profile military facility in Pakistan since gunmen stormed
an air base in the province of Punjab in August, and underscored
the resilience and reach of Pakistan's Taliban insurgents.
The Pakistani Taliban, who have been fighting for more than
five years to overthrow the state, said they had sent 10 men to
attack the airport.
"Five militants were hiding in an under-construction house
near Peshawar airport," said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a spokesman
for the provincial government, on Sunday.
"All of them were suicide bombers. They had weapons and hand
One policeman was killed and two wounded in the clash on
Sunday, he said.
During the Saturday night attack on the airport, three
rockets slammed into a nearby residential area. Health and
police officials said at least four civilians had been killed
and 45 wounded in the flurry of blasts and gunshots.
Authorities sealed off the airport, which handles military
and civilian traffic, during the attack and suspended flights.
The gritty streets of Peshawar, the gateway to the Khyber
Pass and Afghanistan beyond, have often been shaken by bomb
attacks and shootings, but residents said this was the first
significant raid on the heavily guarded airport.
(Reporting By Jibran Ahmad; Editing by Robert Birsel)