A group of gunmen wearing explosives-laden jackets and armed with hand-propelled grenades, mortars, AK-47 rifles attacked a guard post as they tried to fight their way into the Badaber air base 6 kilometres outside Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

An army captain was among 20 people killed in the attack on the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base and a mosque inside it, officials said. Two junior PAF technicians were also killed in the attack, a PAF spokesperson said, adding that both airmen were deployed at the guardroom when the attack occurred.

All 13 terrorists were killed by security forces, military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted. Several of those killed were offering prayers at the mosque, Bajwa said adding that the terrorists were dressed in constabulary uniforms. Terrorists entered the base at two points, splitting into sub-groups, sparking a fierce gunbattle with security forces, he added.

At least 22 people, including eight soldiers and two senior army officers, were injured in the attack. The injured have been shifted to a military hospital in Peshawar and two have been taken to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH). An emergency has been declared in both hospitals.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. "Our suicidal unit carried out the attack," TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani said in an email statement.

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