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Taleban attack Pakistan air base, 10 dead: Officials

Published on Aug 17, 2012 6:09 AM

KAMRA, Pakistan (AFP) - Heavily armed militants stormed a Pakistani air force base on Thursday, sparking clashes that left 10 people dead and raised concerns about the safety of the country's nuclear arsenal.

One security official was killed and a plane damaged in the pre-dawn assault at PAF Base Minhas claimed by the Taleban as militants again proved able to penetrate a sensitive military site five years into an insurgency.

The first strike on a base in more than a year came amid speculation that Pakistan could bow to United States (US) demands for an operation against militants in their main fortress of North Waziristan, in the tribal belt on the Afghan border.

An official denied there were nuclear weapons on the heavily guarded base, but the audacious assault will raise further questions in the West about the dangers of Pakistan's atomic weapons falling into extremists' hands.

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