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

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.