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Pakistani Naval Officers Face Court Martial on Base Attack

Pakistai Navy officers pay tribute to their colleague who was killed during a militant seige on a Karachi naval base at a funeral in Lahore, Pakistan, May 23, 2011.

Three senior Pakistani navy officers are facing court martial in connection with a brazen Taliban attack on a navy base in May that left 10 military personnel dead.

Senior navy officials told the media on condition of anonymity Thursday that the officers are facing charges because they were responsible for security at the PNS Mehran base in Karachi.

The officers being tried include Commodore Raja Tahir, who was the base commander at the time of the attack but was replaced two days later.

A group of heavily armed militants besieged the naval aviation base for some 16 hours on May 23. In addition to causing casualties, the militants were able to destroy two U.S.-made surveillance aircraft.

Pakistani troops drive past a wreckage of a gutted aircraft at the Karachi naval base, May 23, 2011 (AP).

The attack came weeks after U.S. special forces launched a covert raid deep into Pakistani territory to kill al-Qaida leader and founder Osama bin Laden. The Pakistani Taliban said the attack on the navy base was to avenge bin Laden's death.

The raid also mirrored the October 2009 Taliban assault on the country's army headquarters in Rawalpindi, in which militants killed more than 20 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.