Militant Attack On Karachi Airport In Pakistan Claims 23 Lives, At Least 14 Wounded

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  • Karachi Airport Attack
    Smoke billows from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on June 9, 2014. Gunmen attacked one of Pakistan's biggest airports on Sunday and at least 23 people were killed, including all 10 of the attackers, media reported.
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This story has been updated to include an attribution. 

Update as of 11:48 p.m. EDT: The Pakistani army, after a gun battle lasting more than five hours, killed all 10 gunmen who launched an attack on the old terminal at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, according to various media reports. The attackers had killed 13 people, mostly security guards and airline workers, BBC reported, adding that the attack also left at least 14 people wounded.

The New York Times, citing Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the chief minister of Sindh Province, reported that the dead included 10 members of the Airport Security Forces and a flight engineer from Pakistan International Airlines.

“They were well trained,” Shah told reporters of the attackers, according to the Times. “Their plan was very well thought out.”

Several Twitter accounts run by the Pakistani wing of the Taliban, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsiblity for the Karachi attack. The attackers had forged credentials identifying them as security personnel, Dawn reported.

The militants and security personnel engaged in a gun battle and three massive explosions rocked the airport, producing huge plumes of smoke over the cargo terminal. Three planes were damaged, Dawn said.

Dawn said the bodies of 10 security personnel were brought to Jinnah Hospital along with 15 people who were injured. An army spokesman said "Indian arms and ammunition" were recovered, according to local reports.

The motive for the attack was unclear. The Karachi Post said the attack occurred at Terminal 1 where the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan is headquartered. Associated Press says the attack occurred in a terminal usually used for "special VIP flights," but did not specify if it was Terminal 1. BBC reports the attack occurred at Jinnah's "old terminal," used for VIP flights.

The Karachi Post reports at least one plane is on fire.

All operations and flights at Jinnah International Airport have been suspended. Travelers were advised to adjust their plans, GEO-TV said. All flights to Jinnah were diverted to Nawabshah.
 
 
Watch a livestream of Geo News Live's coverage of the attack (in Urdu):
 

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