news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | June 9, 2014 | 8.08 am IST

Around 10 militants launched an attack on Karachi’s International airport on Sunday night, leaving at least 23 people dead, including the attackers themselves, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper. 

Pakistan Major General Asim Bajwa announced early on Monday morning that the seige was over and all the assailants killed- two of them blew themselves up.

The old terminal of the Jinnah International Airport witnessed an ambush by suspected terrorists who were carrying grenades, rocket launchers and assault weapons, according to a Washington Post report.

None of the airline passengers were harmed and were evacuated to safety. Army commandos and police forces were brought it shortly after the attack began. However, combat at the airport continued for around 6 hours till the military struck them down by dawn.

Three massive explosions were heard during the attack giving rise to clouds of smoke over the airport, Dawn further reported. 

Most of the people killed were airline staff and security guards.

The militants were said to have been dressed as airport security officials and that is how they breached the high-security levels of the airport. They gained access to the Fokker building at the old terminal through fake ids.

Though large fires broke out at the airport, there was no damage to any of the aircrafts, confirmed airport officials.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

All flight activities in the airport have been put on a hold for now and all routes to the airport have been sealed, according to a Deccan Herald report. All flights have been diverted to other airports.

This attack brings to mind the 2011 Mehran Naval base attack by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), where over 15 personnel were killed and two aircraft destroyed in a 17 hour siege. The Jinnah International airport is Pakistan’s largest domestic and international airport.

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