News / Asia

Pakistan Taliban Claims Responsibility for Assault on Karachi Airport

Smoke rises above the Jinnah International Airport where security forces continue to battle militants, June 9, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan.
Smoke rises above the Jinnah International Airport where security forces continue to battle militants, June 9, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan.
Ayaz Gul
The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for Sunday night’s deadly assault on the country’s largest international airport in Karachi that left at least 28 people dead, including 10 “terrorists” and more than a dozen security personnel.
 
Authorities say that just before midnight a group of around 10 heavily armed militants, some wearing military uniforms, infiltrated an old terminal at Karachi’s busy Jinnah International Airport.
 
Suspected Taliban insurgents carrying automatic weapons, hand grenades and rocket launchers shot their way into the facility, which is used mainly for cargo and executive flights.
 
The audacious coordinated assault triggered an intense five-hour gun battle with security forces guarding the terminal that lasted into Monday morning.

The army said the airport had been secured by dawn Monday.
 
Flights to Karachi were diverted to other airports as troops joined elite commandos in trying to counter the assault.
 
  • Smoke rises above the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, June 9, 2014.
  • Airport security staff help an injured airline employee, center, leave a terminal following attacks by gunmen at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, June 9, 2014.
  • Police officers display confiscated ammunition and the dead bodies of terrorists who attacked the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, June 9, 2014.
  • Members of the Bomb Disposal Squad defuse explosives and hand grenades along a sidewalk outside Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, June 9, 2014.
  • Paramilitary soldiers arrive at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, June 9, 2014.
  • Security troops rush to a Karachi airport terminal following an attack, June 8, 2014.
  • Army troops arrive at Karachi airport following an attack, June 8, 2014.
  • Fire illuminates the sky above the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan, June 8, 2014.

An eyewitness who lives nearby spoke with Reuters.
 
He said loud sounds were coming from the direction of the airport. He and his family saw small fires erupting around the hangars and the firing was so intense it looked like war had broken out between India and Pakistan.
 
The head of the provincial paramilitary force called Rangers told reporters in Karachi that three militants wearing suicide vests blew themselves up while the rest were killed by security forces.

Major-General Rizwan Akhtar added that bodies of the “terrorists” and documents seized from the scene are being examined to determine their identity.  
 
The general says an initial probe suggested the attackers were foreigners, probably fugitive citizens belonging to the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan.

Analysts describe the Uzbek militants as an integral part of the Pakistani Taliban entrenched in Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal territory on the Afghan border.  
 
Jinnah International Airport, KarachiJinnah International Airport, Karachi
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an alliance of militant groups waging a bloody insurgency against the state, later claimed responsibility.

A spokesman for the outlawed extremist organization said the attack was conducted in response to recent military strikes against their strongholds along the Afghan border.   
 
Provincial health authorities say the violence wounded more than two dozen people, some seriously. They added that no passengers suffered casualties and planes at the terminal were unharmed.
 
Critics say the airport attack has dealt a critical blow to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to negotiate a peace settlement with the Pakistani Taliban. The floundering peace process is already under fire from civil society and progressive groups.

Nawaz condemned the attack.
 
Talks would be 'futile'

Former Pakistani air Vice Marshal Shahid Latif said a dialogue with a group that is working only to destabilize the country will lead the government nowhere.
 
“So the government has to realize that this is a futile effort, perhaps they know it but they still remain engaged in the process of dialogue," he said. "It [the government] suffers from indecision it has other priorities without realizing that unless there is peace and law and order situation in the country is under control the economy is not going anywhere.”
 
Pakistani Taliban militants have previously carried out deadly attacks against airports around the country, including military and naval airbases. However, Sunday night’s assault is being described as the biggest in terms of human losses.
 
Meanwhile, authorities in southwestern Baluchistan province said that the death toll in Sunday’s multiple suicide bombings in a remote town bordering Iran has risen to at least 26.

The victims were pilgrims belonging to the minority Shiite Muslim community and had just returned from Iran when four suicide bombers attacked their hotels in the town of Taftan. Authorities suspect a Sunni Muslim militant group also aligned with the Pakistani Taliban.

Baluchistan's home minister, Sarfaraz Bugti, said security forces killed one bomber while three others blew themselves up.

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Shafiq azad from: Afghanistan
June 10, 2014 12:17 AM
Islam is a religion that just produce violence and misery

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
June 09, 2014 7:22 PM
Islam is the most violent religion in the world. you don't have to speared your message by violence, no. It is the Spirit of God that draw a person to him. Jesus give a profound statement in John 12, He said if I be lifted up, I will draw all man unto me. It is for the world to recognize Islam is the problem in the world. It is time for the world to speak the truth. And stop hiding behind hypocrisy. Every time I speak about the violence of Islam, they proved me right.Just last week, I wrote about Islam and how Mohammed started his religion with violence, and the VOA editor didn't published my writing. which of course I do respect the editor. However Islam has proved me right again. The world will not have no peace as long as Islam is in the world.The world has big mess to deal with. We are so sorry for the innocent people that died in the airport attack. May God has mercy on their soul.
In Response

by: Shafiq azad from: Afghanistan
June 10, 2014 12:10 AM
What you said is completely right my friend

by: ginkgo from: ChangSha
June 09, 2014 7:18 AM
all of the world should work together to against terrific attraction.

by: Hamidi from: Kabul Afghanistan
June 09, 2014 5:17 AM
I am Very sorry for the mourners of the Civilian killed in this sad incident and my special condolence for them, But Pakistan government can’t complain regarding this incident, because Pakistan is the only nest of terrorism, we have a famous proverb in Afghanistan “what you have cultivated you will collect the harvest” So as Pakistan is a very qualified and experienced training center for the terrorism so they have to accept this kind of incidents as usual,
Best
Hamidi
In Response

by: Rocky from: USA
June 10, 2014 2:17 AM
Hamidi,
I agree. When the U.S. went to war with the Taliban the Pakistani military did nothing to prevent them from crossing the mountains into Pakistan from Afghanistan. In fact, they made it difficult for the Americna military to do so. They harbored Bin Laden, nearly in plain sight near their own military bases.
Now the Taliban has turned on them. It's tragic for the loss of life but I hope in the future countries will understand that despite pretending to be devout and religious they are really simply violent and powerhungry, using the Quran as justification for their crimes.
I don't believe Islam is the cause, I think any religion based in this area would be violent and would use it's holiest books to justify it's terrible actions.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
June 09, 2014 10:45 AM
REMEMBER? -- Most of the Mujahideen that defeated the Russians in Afghanistan, (were trained in Pakistan), with weapons supplied by the US, China, Iran, and others?

The US attacked Afghanistan to avenge the Al-Qaeda attack of 09-11-2001 on the US, and to defeat the Taliban government who were supporting and providing training basses in Afghanistan to Al-Qaeda -- (AND THEN?) -- the Taliban were driven into Pakistan, (and now), Pakistan is paying the price for the US invasion, and the Afghan people's incompetence to prevent the Afghan Taliban to rule their country..

Pakistan made the biggest mistake when they took the US blood money, and signed an "Unequal Treaty" with the US, giving them the right to kill any Pakistani, without being prosecuted for it? -- Thousands of Pakistani citizens have died since they entered the US "War on Terror" -- haven't they?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs