Suicide bomb blast hits air force base in Pakistan

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Friday, October 23, 2009

A suicide bomber attacked the Chaklala airbase in the Punjab province of northern Pakistan this morning, killing at least four civilians and two air force personnel at a security checkpoint.

The Air Force Base
Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeromy K. Cross.

The blast took place in Kamra, approximately 50 km (30 mi) away from Islamabad, near Rawalpindi and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The attacker had apparently hoped to enter the airbase, but detonated his explosives while at the checkpoint when officers suggested they wanted to search his clothing.

With some outlets reporting as many as eight deaths, between nine and thirteen people were believed wounded, although their identities haven't been disclosed, said Fakhar Sultan, District Police chief.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the suicide attack, and repeated that his government would not waver from its goal to "root out terrorism".

This was the second time that Kamra was targeted, the first being in December 2007. International groups have suggested that Pakistan may keep its nuclear-armed aircraft at the base.