Smoke billows from inside the Jinnah International Airport, after suspected Islamic militants attacked the airport, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday.
(Photo: Rehan Khan, epa)
The Taliban claimed responsibility for a brazen siege on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport overnight Monday that left dozens dead, saying the attack was in retaliation for drone strikes on villages in Pakistan’s troubled northwest border region.
The militant group vowed to continue their campaign.
“This is just the beginning,” Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told the Express Tribune, a Pakistani daily.
The attack began late overnight Monday after 10 men armed with machine guns, grenades and rocket launchers stormed the busy airport at a terminal for cargo and VIP passengers, known as the old airport, military officials said. Some of the attackers were wearing suicide vests, with at least one blowing himself up as law enforcement approached.
Some of the attackers, all of whom were killed by special army commandos, had been disguised as airport security personnel, said Rizwan Akhtar, the chief of Pakistan’s elite paramilitary Rangers. At least 10 members of the security forces were also killed, as was a flight engineer for the country’s state airline, Pakistan International Airlines. The Associated Press reported that 28 people died in the rampage including the 10 attackers.
Flights were suspended and the airport was shut temporarily as plumes of smoke rose from the terminal. Military spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa said the airport will resume operations Monday.
Source: USA Today | Naila Inayat