Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Troops End Raid by 'Star Wars' Taliban Fighters

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Troops End Raid by 'Star Wars' Taliban Fighters

Article excerpt

Byline: Rashid Razaq

PAKISTANI commandos regained control of a naval base today after it was attacked by a team of Taliban militants who killed 12 troops.

About 12 insurgents armed with grenades, rockets and automatic weapons used ladders to storm Naval Station Mehran in Karachi, home to the country's fleet.

They split into smaller groups, setting off explosions which caused huge fires and destroyed two P-3C Orions, maritime surveillance aircraft given to Pakistan by the US.

They took cover in an office building as dozens of navy and police commandos were sent in. The attackers fought back with gunfire and grenades. Naval gunships flew over the base and snipers were seen on a runway control tower.

Eighteen hours after the raid began, a naval official said: "Thanks be to God, the base is cleared and the operation is over." Commandos leaving the complex flashed victory signs to reporters.

Interior minister Rehman Malik said he saw some of the attackers. …

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