Karachi: A military operation has been re-launched at Karachi airport led by security forces just after few hours when they claimed to end of a military siege.
On Monday morning, explosions were heard again from Karachi airport and reports are coming for fresh gunfire. The initial gunfire at Jinnah International Airport started on Sunday and remained intact till dawn when all 10 militants had been killed.
Posing suicide vests, grenades and rocket launchers, they fought with security forces and hit 14 security personnel and 4 airport employees. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took responsibility of the attack. “We carried out this attack on Karachi airport and it is a message to the Pakistan government that we are still alive to reach over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages,” the TTP spokesman said.
Shahidullah Shahid moreover related the Government’s peace talks methodology as a “tool of war”. He said the attack was designed previously as a reprisal of killing of Hakimullah Mehsud in the US drone attack but delayed due to peace talks.
Security men recovered 5 suicide jackets, 15 petrol bombs and 5 sub-machine guns (SMG) from the airport during a search operation conducted in the early hours of Monday morning.
Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan strongly condemned the attack on airport , condoled with family members of killed persons and has demanded a report of the attack from IG Sindh Police.
An AFP reporter at the scene told that rangers and elite commandos were rushing inside the airport and loud gunfire could be heard across airport’s premises.”We have re-launched the operation and called in additional troops.” said Sibtain Rizvi, spokesman for Rangers paramilitary force.
Imran Khan criticized government over their policy to tackle terrorism. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said that this is an alarming matter for government.
President Mamnoon commended the role of security forces during the operation against attackers. President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the attack of the airport.
Director General of Sindh Rangers, Maj-Gen Rizwan Akhtar addressed a press conference claiming that according to the initial reports, unidentified foreign militants appeared to be involved in the attack. At least 23 people have been killed including security personnel and 10 militants.
The ISPR spokesman Asim Bajwa said, “The militants were confined to two areas and eliminated.”
The ISPR spokesman said that Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sahrif “congratulated participating troops for a well coordinated, successful operation eliminating all militants”. He also said that Raheel Sharif “paid rich tribute to all shaheed and injured for their supreme sacrifice”.
Earlier, Malir Cantonment troops were sent to deal the situation. Police commandos and Karachi Rangers assisted them.
Firing with gaps took placed at the airport, while huge clouds of smoke could be seen over the cargo terminal. 2 passenger planes of PIA and AirBlue and a cargo plane of a foreign airline were damaged completely. A hand grenade attack was also carried out on the Isphani Hanger.
Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif called DG Rangers Sindh and asked him to ensure the safety of passengers.
The brazen attack took faraway the possibilities of peace talks between the government of Nawaz Sharif and TTP. Initial peace talks have been failed in recent years, darkened the hopes to gain a negotiated settlement of the insurgency, which are persistent attacking government and security targets.