Khurrum Anis and Farhan Sharif
May 22, 2011

A gun battle raged at a Pakistani naval air base in Karachi after militants stormed the premises with rockets and grenades targeting surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S., the biggest such attack in 18 months.

“They have captured one building, our forces are fighting them and there may be hostages inside,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Karachi. “Al-Qaeda and Taliban are enemies of Pakistan and are trying to destroy our assets.”

Army and Navy commandos were fighting between 10 and 15 militants, and “guarding assets inside the base which are all safe,” Navy spokesman Irfan Ul Haq said by phone from Islamabad. Four navy personnel were killed and 9 were injured, he said.

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