Karachi flights suspended amid new airport attack

Karachi flights suspended amid new airport attack

Karachi flights suspended amid new airport attack

Written by Staff Writer

10 Jun, 2014 | 2:58 pm

Flights in and out of Karachi airport were suspended on Tuesday after a training camp used by security forces near the airport was attacked.

The gunfight came just two days after a night-time assault by thePakistani Taliban killed 36 people and destroyed maintenance facilities.

The attack against the Airports Security Force (ASF) base on the northern perimeter of Jinnah International Airport began in the early afternoon, forcing inbound international flights to turn around in mid-air and stranding fully loaded planes on the runway.

It began as at least two groups of gunmen tried to enter the facility from two different entrances, an ASF spokesman said. He said he did not know how many attackers were involved or whether there were any casualties.

Pakistani television stations showed images of security guards rushing to the scene and frantically taking up positions around the facility, which serves as a training centre for airport security personnel. The facility is roughly half a mile from the airport.

“We have suspended all flight operations at Karachi airport and we are evacuating passengers,” said Mashud Tajwar, a spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines.

The assault came as Pakistan launched air strikes on a tribal district, killing 15 people.

It was unclear if the latest air strikes signalled the start of a broader offensive in the North Waziristan region where the al Qaida-linked Pakistani Taliban are based.

The air force has periodically conducted brief raids to bomb Pakistani Taliban positions in past months but has yet to launch a major offensive.


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