NEW YORK TIMES, CNN (USA), THE TELEGRAPH (UK), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)

Worldcrunch

ISLAMABAD - At least nine men, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, stormed an air force base in the early hours of Thursday in Kamra, about 80 kilometres northwest of Islamabad, reports Al Jazeera.

According to a military spokesperson, the eight attackers were killed in a firefight with security forces that lasted several hours. The ninth attacker died by detonating his suicide vest outside the perimeter of the base, adds Al Jazeera.

One Pakistani soldier was killed in the exchange of gunfire, reports Al Jazeera. Four airmen were wounded in the attack, reports CNN.

The Pakistani Taliban organization, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack. The U.S., UK and Canadian governements consider the group as a terrorist organization. It has strong ties to al-Qaeda.

The Minhas air base in Kamra is thought to be one of the possible locations where part of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is stored, reports The New York Times. One transport airplane was damaged in the assault.

The attack came only a few hours after Pakistan announced plans to launch an operation in the militant region of North Waziristan, in the tribal belt, as requested by the U.S.

The assault is the third on the air base since 2007 reports The Telegraph. The base was struck by a suicide bomber in December 2007 and again in August 2009 killing eight people, including two soldiers.

This is the largest attack on Pakistan’s military since May 2011 when terrorists struck a naval base in Karachi, killing 10 people and wounding 20 to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden.

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Geopolitics

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Twenty years later the Islamist group is back in power in Afghanistan, but trying this time to win international support. Now that several months have passed, experts on the ground can offer a clear assessment if the group has genuinely transformed on such issues as women's rights and free speech.

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