You are sending a link to...
Militants attack Pakistan nuclear air base
From The Telegraph
Islamic militants killed a Pakistan Army soldier in a daring raid on one of the country’s most heavily protected nuclear air bases.
Six militants were killed in a fierce firefight with security forces inside the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra, 40 miles from the capital Islamabad. The gun fight early this morning lasted several hours and has raised new questions over the security of the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
The attack is the third on the air base since 2007, but is the most audacious and successful to date. . . In this morning’s attack, in which Kamra’s commander Air Commodore Muhammad Azam was wounded, the militants successfully penetrated the base and fired a number of rocket propelled grenades, damaging an aircraft. The militants launched their assault at 2am today with automatic weapons and RPGs and held out for two hours as Pakistani security forces fought to re-take the base.
The facility is believed to house a number of American F-16 fighter jets as well some of the country’s estimated 100 nuclear warheads. Pakistan’s military leaders and government have sought to allay American concerns, including some voiced by President Obama, that its nuclear facilities are under threat from Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists seeking to acquire atomic weapons.
Following the last attack at Kamra, Professor Shaun Gregory a nuclear expert at Bradford University’s Pakistan Security Research Unit warned US officials that terrorist attacks could cause fires or explosions at Pakistani bases which could pose radiological threats or even seize vital components for creating their own weapon. "An attack to cause a fire at a nuclear weapons facility, which would create a radiological hazard; an attack to cause an explosion at a nuclear weapons facility involving a nuclear weapon or components or an attack with the objective of seizing control of nuclear weapons components or possibly a nuclear weapon,” he warned.
There was speculation this morning that the attack may have been a pre-emptive strike by Pakistani Taliban fighters after Islamabad indicated it was preparing to strike at terrorist camps in their North Waziristan strongholds, close to the Afghan border. US Defence Secretary Leon Penetta said on Monday that Pakistan’s army chief had told him an offensive was imminent after resisting US pressure for several years. They've talked about it for a long time. Frankly, I'd lost hope that they were going do anything about it. But it does appear that they in fact are going to take that step,"