(KARACHI) – On Sunday night, a militant group launched a deadly attack at the cargo area (which is just about a kilometer away from the area where the airplanes take off) of Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, the biggest airport Pakistan, killing 29 people altogether that included 19 Pakistanis and 10 militants. Not only this, but the terrorists group, that included a team of ten gunmen, also took control of a part of the airport for six hours. The attack which began at around 11pm local time, continued periodically this morning. The terrorists were well equipped with rocket launchers, grenades and other assault weapons. It was also believed that some of them were wearing suicide jackets.
A spokesman for Pakistan Army said, that many large flames of fire broke out during the attack, however, all the passengers on the airport were escorted away unhurt.
As of now, the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accepted the responsibility of the attack. In his statement, Abdullah Bahar, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, said that they had taken a revenge for the death of the Hakimullah Mehsud, the former chief of TTP, by attacking the busiest airport of the country. He also warned that more attacks will follow. He said, “As long as we are breathing, our attacks will be continuing ’til the end of our lives.
Moreover, Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for TTP, said that the attack was the response of the airstrikes of Pakistan Air Force in North Waziristan.
According to the officials, the terrorists group combated the Pakistani security forces that included both army men as well as rangers. General Asim Bajwa, a spokesman for Pakistan Army, said that the assault ended on Monday morning, and the airport is now totally under the control of the military. During the attack, a building caught fire, however, no damage was done to the planes. On Twitter, he also congratulated the troops that participated in a well organized, coordinated and successful operation that led to the elimination of all terrorists.
#Kci:Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif congratulated participating troops for a well coordinated,successful operation eliminating all terrorists
— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) June 9, 2014
However, there are contradictory reports of how the terrorists entered the old terminal. Some reports suggest that the terrorists pretended to be police guards, while others suggest that they used a fake ID to get access.
Qaim Ali Shah, the Chief Minister of Sindh, described it a “well trained” assault.
Terrorists had a plan to bring down our aviation industry. The valiant effort of rangers and commandos defeated the terrorists, and the national assets were saved. – Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharif.
However, the siege, which is considered as one of the worst security lapses at a Pakistani airport, is giving rise to serious questions relating to the ability of the country to protect its major transportation centers, given the continuous threats of terrorism all across the country.
Moreover, the attack has come at a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Army are considering to launch a major surgical operation against the TTP.