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Angriff auf den Flughafen von Karachi 10.06.2014
Image: Reuters

Karachi airport attack ends

June 10, 2014

A violent exchange between Karachi airport security and the Taliban has ended, allowing flights to resume at Pakistan's largest airport. The attack on the facility was the second in three days.

https://p.dw.com/p/1CFTy

Operations at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport resumed on Tuesday after delays prompted by a Taliban attack.

Several gunmen on motorbikes attempted to attack a building used by airport security officers, but soon fled after security officials returned fire. The facility is located several hundred meters from the international airport.

There were no reports of casualties.

The Pakistani Taliban - which seeks to topple the government in Islamabad and implement Sharia law - claimed responsibility for the attack, warning that the violence "wasn't over yet."

The western Asian country has been struggling to thwart terrorist attacks by the Islamist extremist cell, which have been on the rise in recent months. In its latest effort, the Pakistani military has carried out airstrikes in the northwestern Waziristan region in a bid to drive the militants from their stronghold. Prior to the Tuesday attack, army officials reportedly struck the Tirah Valley of Pakistan's Khyber region, claiming to have destroyed "nine terrorist hideouts" and to have killed at least 15 militants.

In response to the Tuesday attack, the head of the airport security force, Azam Khan, urged Pakistanis to remain strong in the face of terrorist threats.

"The aim of the attackers was to create a panic, and we shouldn't be playing into their hands," Khan told Pakistani television.

More bodies recovered

On Tuesday, airport officials recovered seven more bodies from the weekend attack on Jinnah International, bringing the death toll to roughly 35 people. The victims had hidden in a storage area during the siege and were killed when a fire consumed their hiding place.

"The bodies are badly charred beyond identification," a morgue official said on the condition of anonymity.

Provincial health minister Dr. Sagheer Ahmed later told reporters that the remains had been "handed over to families after DNA testing."

Ten Taliban militants stormed the airport on Sunday, engaging in a gun battle with security officials. The Pakistani military was deployed to the vicinity and was able to bring the situation under control in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Pakistani military reportedly shot dead seven of the gunmen. The remaining three detonated their suicide vests after being surrounded by soldiers.

Most of those killed on Sunday appeared to be airport and other security staff.

kms/se (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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