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

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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,
In Response

by: Rocky from: USA
June 10, 2014 2:17 AM
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.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs