At least four people were killed and over 30 received critical injuries Saturday night after rockets were fired at Peshawar airport in Pakistan’s northwest. Peshawar is the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a war-ravaged province of Pakistan. Since 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been suffering heavy damages from the hands of terrorists linked to al-Qaida, Taliban and numerous other militant outfits. Peshawar city has also braced numerous deadly terrorist attacks and suffered losses of precious lives and properties. However, people of the province stay strong and are ready to take on the militants. Their morale is still high.
According to media reports, terrorists fired rockets at the airport, but missed, with three rockets landing in nearby residential areas and one hitting the outer wall of the airport. Security forces retaliated and all four terrorists were killed as a result. Security officials declared the airport cleared after a thorough combing and search operation. Pakistan army was also called in to handle the situation and all roads leading to the airport were sealed. All the injured were rushed to the nearby Khyber Teaching Hospital, where conditions of five of the wounded are stated to be precarious. It is being reported that terrorists originally planned to attack a Pakistan Air Force base that shares its airstrip with the airport.
It should be noted that Pakistan army has carried out three military operations in the province and its adjoining tribal areas, but the insurgency in the region is still going on. Terrorists are still capable enough to strike targets of their choice. The government of Pakistan does not enjoy its writ over seventy percent of the province and militants linked to different outfits easily carry out their activities. The United States has also provided Pakistani security forces with modern gadgets and sophisticated weapons to deal with the menace of terrorism, but in vain. It appears as if the militants are rapidly reorganizing in the tribal belt of the country.
The tribal belt of Pakistan and Peshawar province also borders Afghanistan. The terrorists linked to different outfits, including the Haqqani network, are involved in cross-border attacks on the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. The United States has long been pushing Pakistan to launch a military offensive against the militants based in the tribal region, but Pakistani authorities are not prepared for it. Given escalating incidents of terrorism in Pakistan, future of Afghanistan remains unpredictable after the US and its allies pull out their troops from the violence-wracked country at the end of 2014.