Taliban Attack on Pakistan Air Base Kills 29; Including 16 in Mosque

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By Mushtaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - At least 29 people, including members of the Pakistan Air Force worshipping at a mosque, were killed Friday when Taliban militants launched a terror attack at an air base near Peshawar, officials said.

"A group of around seven militants attacked the Budhber air base in Peshawar. The Quick Response Force of the Pakistan army had responded," Pakistan army spokesman Maj-Ge Asim Bajwa said.

A senior Pakistan military official said 13 Taliban were killed in the ensuing clashes with state security forces.

"After attacking the air base, these terrorists entered ‎a mosque and opened a fire at the worshippers,” the official told NBC News.

In addition to 16 slain inside the mosque, 13 air force and army employees at the base were also killed by the militants, Bajwa later told Reuters.

The Pakistani Taliban, headed by Maulana Fazlullah Khorasani, claimed responsibility for the attack.

"We proudly claim responsibility for the attack on Pakistani airbase. This base is being used by fighter jets for bombing against us," Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurassani told NBC News.

Separately, at least seven suspected militants were killed in US drone strike in Pakistan's South Waziristan Friday.

Security officials and tribal sources told NBC News that the drone fired two missiles and hit a compound reportedly being used by the militants.

Tribal sources said the drone targeted the compound of Taliban fighters.