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

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs