KARACHI: At least fifteen people were killed when heavily armed terrorists attacked Pakistan’s busiest airport in Karachi on Sunday night. Ten terrorists were killed in the ensuing joint operation.
Terrorists armed with Indian-made weapons including automatic weapons, hand grenades, suicide jackets and rocket launchers penetrated the old terminal opening fire and hurling grenades on Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel, making their way onto the tarmac. Multiple blasts were reported during the terrorist attack.
Seven ASF personnel along with one each from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) and one Ranger lost their lives in the attack while another, a policeman was also martyred when he tried to apprehend a suicide bomber.
According to sources terrorists who attacked the Karachi airport were foreigners.
DG ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa said the terrorists were confined to two areas and eliminated. Weapons, live ammo including RPGs and rockets were recovered. The military spokesman added a precautionary sweep would take place after day light and the airport will be cleared by midday for operations.
Major General Asim Bajwa confirmed that no aircraft was damaged adding that the fire visible was in a building, which was extinguished.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif contacted DG Rangers Rizwan Akhtar and directed him to ensure safety of all the passengers at the airport. The Pakistan Army was called in to aid the ASF and police in the operation which was led by Corps Commander Karachi and DG Rangers.
Following the attack, Emergency was declared at the Jinnah, Civil and Abbasi Shaheed Hospitals where 22 injured are under treatment.
Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah told reporters ten terrorists had attacked the Karachi. The chief minister added that the terrorists were well trained and their plan to damage the airport was foiled.
Earlier which speaking to media personnel at the airport, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah, who is also Sindh Home Minister, arrived on the directives of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Sharjeel Memon said according to his information no aircraft was damaged in the attack.
According to security sources edible items including dry fruit and bread were recovered from the terrorists.
An inquiry of the attack has been ordered by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.
Flights to Karachi have been diverted to alternate airports while the airport has been sealed.