1 of 2 | Pakistani security officials stand guard at a checkpoint in Balochistan, Pakistan, on Oct. 1. The Pakistani military said Saturday it had repelledan attack by Islamist militants on the Mianwali airbase in the northeastern province of Punjab. File Photo by Fayyaz Ahmad/EPA-EFE
Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Pakistani security forces killed nine attackers who launched an assault on the Mianwali airbase in the northeastern province of Punjab early Saturday, according to military officials.
The media branch of Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations issued a statement saying Pakistani Air Force troops thwarted the surprise siege on the training facility, adding that all the assailants "have been sent to hell."
No troop casualties were reported as a result of the attack, while damage was minor and limited to only three non-operational airplanes that came under fire.
The Pakistani military said it launched a subsequent defense operation in the region to "eliminate any potential threat in the surrounding area following the cowardly and failed terrorist attack on the base this morning."
Meanwhile, one of the country's most notorious terrorist organizations, the Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the failed attack, which came amid a wave of violence in the region, including two devastating explosions that killed 20, including more than a dozen soldiers, in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces on Friday.
Pakistan's interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar praised the military's swift actions to put down the threat.
"The valiant Pakistan Air Force has once again proven its mettle by thwarting a cowardly terrorist attack in Mianwali. Any attempt to undermine our security will meet with unwavering resistance. The nation stands with you and we salute your courage and resolve," he wrote on X.
No other military assets were hit during the attack, the military said.
"The prompt and professional conclusion of the operation serves as a stark reminder to all enemies of peace that Pakistan's Armed Forces remain vigilant and are fully capable of defending the homeland from any threat," the statement said.
A host of current and former Pakistani officials condemned the ongoing violence in the country.