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Deadly Taliban suicide attack rocks Pakistan airport

Deadly violence has hit an airport in the Pakistani city of Peshawar where Taliban suicide attackers and soldiers traded fire. Hours after the airport was deemed secure, a shoot-out broke out nearby, killing four people.

At least eight people were killed and dozens more injured late Saturday. Taliban militants rammed an explosives-filled vehicle into the boundary wall of the airport, which serves the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

After the initial attack, a gunfight between security personnel and insurgents ensued. Rockets were also fired by the militants.

"Three rockets were fired," Imran Shahid, a senior police official, told the AFP news agency. "Two landed inside Peshawar airport and another hit a vehicle."

The military then sealed off the area to launch a search operation after the firefight.

"No damage to PAF assets and personnel occurred within the air base," air force spokesman Tariq Mahmoud said.

At least two people died at the hospital during treatment, authorities said.

On Sunday, militants who took part in the airport attack, traded gunfire with police while holed up in a half-built house nearby, officials said.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a spokesman for the provincial government, said one policeman had been killed and two wounded in the clash. Three militants also were killed, he said.

Peshawar has been a frequent target of violence by militants entrenched in Pakistan's tribal region on the northwest border of Afghanistan, but residents say it is the first time such a large attack has been staged on the airport.

dr, hc/mkg (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)