Pakistan’s Karachi Airport Under Attack by Taliban

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
By George Hatcher

KarachiA highly trained squad of Taliban attacked the Jinnah International Airport, in Karachi, Pakistan, shortly before midnight on June 8.

Wearing Airport Security Force uniforms, running shoes and large backpacks stuffed with water, dried fruits and heavy ammunition, a group of 10 insurgents arrived at the airport’s cargo terminal in two mini vans. They then started firing, entered the airport and split into two groups. One of them attacked the airport’s ‘Fokker’ gate as a diversion while the other assaulted the cargo terminal.

According to the authorities, the insurgents intended to reach the nearby passenger terminal, which at the time, was packed with hundreds of passengers and staff members. However, security forces, including paramilitary rangers, put up a strong resistance and did not let the attackers achieve their target.

The intense gun battle lasted more than five hours. Security forces killed 7 attackers. Three others died after they detonated the suicide-bomb belts they were wearing.

Authorities confirmed that in addition to the insurgents, at least 18 people, including airport security forces personnel and other airport employees, were killed in the incident. No passengers were harmed. All flights were diverted to other airports.

Claiming responsibility for the attack, the Taliban said it was a response to the recent air strikes in their area near Pak-Afghan border. Their motive was to hijack a passenger aircraft. A Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said, “The main goal of this attack was to damage the government … by hijacking planes and destroying state installations…This was just an example of what we are capable of, and there is more to come. The government should be ready for even worse attacks.”

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