Pakistan's Quetta Airport Hit By Deadly Bomb And Gun Attack

   on August 14 2014 5:49 PM
Pakistan
Supporters of Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, Sufi cleric and leader of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) begin their march toward the capital from Lahore August 14, 2014. Thousands of anti-government protesters began to march on the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Thursday from the eastern city of Lahore, raising fears about political stability and prospects for civilian rule in the nuclear-armed country. Two protest groups - one led by cricketer-turned-opposition politician Imran Khan, and the other by activist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri - are heading to the capital to demand that a government they condemn as corrupt steps down. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

(Reuters) - A man was killed and two policemen were wounded in an attack on Quetta airport in western Pakistan on Thursday night, officials said, but the attackers did not breach the perimeter.

The dead man was not immediately identified. He was killed near an airforce base that shares a runway with the civilian airport.

Local residents heard at least eight blasts and gunfire that continued for around half an hour. Helicopters buzzed overhead, they said.

Sarfraz Bugti, home minister in the provincial government of Baluchistan, confirmed an attack had taken place. He said rockets had been fired but did not land in the base.

Four bombs were defused near another air force base in Quetta called Khalid, he said. He did not say who had carried out the attack.

Pakistan has suffered several recent attacks on its airports.

In June, a Taliban attack killed 30 people at the airport in Karachi, the southern city home to 18 million people.

The same month, militants fired on a plane landing in Peshawar, a provincial capital in the northwest, killing one woman passenger and narrowly missing the pilot. Peshawar airport was also attacked in 2012, when nine people were killed.

In 2012, nine people were killed in an attack on an airforce base in the northern city of Kamra.

In recent days, the attention of Pakistani security agencies has been focused on two large anti-government protests that are due to reach the capital on Friday.

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