Pakistani security personnel and volunteers gather outside a Pakistan Air Force base after an attack by militants in Peshawar on September 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / A MAJEED
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A brazen Taliban attack on a Pakistani military base on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar killed 29 people on Friday, including 16 worshipers who were gunned down when the militants stormed a mosque inside the compound during prayers.The attack triggered an hours-long firefight at the base and the Pakistani forces said they killed 13 of the attackers, though it was unclear how many were involved in the assault. Apart from the 16 slain inside the mosque, 13 air force and army employees at the base were also killed by the militants, said army spokesman Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa. The attack was a major blow to Pakistan's military, which had stepped up operations against militants following a horrific Taliban attack last December at a Peshawar school that killed 150 people, mostly children. In Friday's assault, the attackers first stormed the guard room of the Badaber base, according to air force officials. Bajwa said the militants entered the base from different directions in a two-pronged assault -- apparently one push targeted the mosque -- but that security forces quickly responded. Earlier, the army chief met with the security forces taking part in the clearing operation at the base and also visited a military hospital where doctors were treating soldiers wounded in the attack.
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