Karachi, Pakistan (CNN, June 8, 2014) — [Breaking news update at 7:55 p.m. ET Sunday]
At least 21 people were killed after militants attacked Karachi’s international airport Sunday, officials said. Officials at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi said the dead included eight members of airport security forces, two Pakistan International Airlines employees and one ranger. Ten militants were also killed in the clashes, said Niaz Abbasi, home secretary of Sindh province. The attack has ended, and authorities are securing the area, Abbasi said.
[Original story, posted at 6:47 p.m. ET Sunday]
Militants attack Karachi airport; 10 killed in clashes
(CNN) — Militants attacked Pakistan’s largest and busiest airport on Sunday, killing four military commandos and leaving some passengers stuck in sealed-off areas as violence erupted, a senior Pakistani official said.
At least six militants were killed in clashes at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, but some remain on the loose, police Inspector General Iqbal Mehmood said.
Clashes broke out after attackers armed with grenades stormed the airport through three entrances, said Ahmad Chinoy, director-general of the citizen’s police liaison committee.
One militant blew himself up in front of an armored car, leaving some people inside the vehicle critically injured, Chinoy said.
All flights at the airport have been canceled, and some passengers are trapped in a lounge area, Chinoy said.
The violence started in a cargo and VIP area of the airport late Sunday night and continued for more than five hours into Monday morning, sending a plume of smoke over the airport.
A cargo plane was damaged and set ablaze in the fighting, Chinoy said. The airport’s cargo area is about a kilometer (0.62 miles) away from the area where commercial planes take off.
Fires raged in at least two locations at the airport as fighting continued Monday morning. Dozens of ambulances were lined up as police and military troops swarmed the area.
Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa of the Pakistani Army said in a Twitter post that terrorists were “contained in one area” at the airport.
“All passengers in planes evacuated to safer places,” he said. “Hunt for terrorists on.”