Security forces at Karachi airport have come under fresh attack, a day after militants launched an audacious assault on the facility that left at least 36 people dead. The latest attack came as Pakistan’s interior minister was briefing parliament about Monday's assault.
Reports said unidentified gunmen launched a strike on the base of Pakistan’s Airport Security Force (ASF) located at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport at lunchtime on Tuesday.
It is unclear what damage the gunmen were able to do but Pakistani media reported that security forces had repelled the assault. Some militants were reported to have been killed.
All flights to and from the airport were again suspended. Among those passengers waiting to flight out was former interior minister Rehman Malik.
The attack came a day after ten gunmen stormed into the airport during a five-hour assault and laid siege using grenades and automatic weapons. Reports said the militants were well-equipped and well-trained and apparently planning for a long operation.
A spokesperson for the Taliban later said the attack, launched at around midnight on Sunday, had been carried out in revenge for a US drone attack last year that killed the Taliban’s then leader, Hakimullah Mehsud. The spokesman said the Taliban fighters had been seeking to hijack a plane.
In pictures: Karachi airport attack
In pictures: Karachi airport attack
Pakistani airport security staff help an injured airlines employee (C) to leave a terminal following attacks by gunmen the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
Pakistani police officers display confiscated ammunition and the dead bodies of terrorists who attacked the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
Pakistan's security forces said they have relaunched a military operation at Karachi airport as gunfire resumed several hours after they announced the end of a militant siege that left many dead
Smoke billows from inside the Jinnah International Airport, after suspected Islamic militants attacked the airport in Karachi
Pakistani policemen show seized weapons after militants attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
Rescue workers move a soldier, who was wounded in an attack at Jinnah International Airport, outside Jinnah hospital in Karachi
A Pakistani security personnel arrange seized weapons after militants attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
Gunmen disguised as police guards attacked a terminal at Pakistan's busiest airport with machine guns and a rocket launcher during a five-hour siege as explosions echoed into the night, while security forces retaliated and killed all the attackers
Pakistani Rangers secure the boundary wall after suspected militants attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
Hundreds of army and police personnel had been locked in battles with ten heavily armed attackers who have taken positions in different areas inside the country's largest airport in Karachi
All flight operations have been suspended for 24 hours at the airport in Karachi
The attack on the airport and the claiming of responsibility by the Taliban will present another challenge for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose government has been involved in faltering efforts to establish a ceasefire and peace agreement with the militants
The attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport was launched by around 10 gunmen wearing military uniform who shot their way into the facility, located in the east of the port city. Ten hours later, with smoke billowing from the premises, security forces were still conducting patrols to ensure all the militants had been killed or captured
Pakistani security officials take positions after suspected militants attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
Fire illuminates the sky above Karachi airport terminal where security forces are fighting with attackers
On Tuesday morning it was reported that seven burned bodies have been recovered from a burned building at the airport, bringing the death toll from Monday’s attack to 36. Among the dead were all ten militants. Reports said the seven bodies, burned beyond recognition, had been found in a cold storage unit. It is unclear how they ended up there.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning it was also reported that Pakistan’s air force launched air strikes in tribal areas on the Afghan border, killing at least 15 suspected militants. “Nine terrorist hideouts were destroyed by early morning military air strikes near the Pakistan-Afghan border,” the army said in a statement.
The latest attack targeting Karachi airport came as Pakistan’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, was briefing the parliament on Monday’s assault. “Terrorists wanted to kidnap people and damage planes,” he said.