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Pakistan’s Jinnah international airport saw a heavy gun battle between armed gunmen

Pakistan’s Jinnah international airport saw a heavy gun battle between armed gunmen and security forces on 8th June, 2014 as the gunmen penetrated the security cordon around the facility in Karachi, hurling grenades and exchanging gunfire with security forces.

Smoke and flames were seen billowing from Jinnah International airport’s old terminal, which was surrounded by police, who initially said that they believed up to 10 gunmen were involved in the attack. At least four security guards were initially killed, according to local media.

Attacks have taken place before on airports in Pakistan, but this is believed to have been the first time that a civilian airport rather a military one has been attacked. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the brazen attack on Pakistan’s busiest civilian airport by 10 heavily armed gunmen.

Peace talks between the government and Taliban that began this year have stalled, with the military recently resorting to air strikes on militant hideouts, killing at least 75 people. Reports have suggested that Farooq Sattar, a prominent leader of Pakistan’s powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which has its power base in Karachi, had boarded a flight at the airport shortly before the attack. It has been reported that a suicide bomber has blown him up amid the fight

After the report of the killing of 28 people, including the attackers, the operation of clearing the airport continued for six hours. “The militants who were wearing the uniforms of the airport security force(ASF) were confined to two areas and eliminated and the armed response was a success”, declared an army spokesman.

Shahidullah Shahid, the TTP’s spokesman said that the attack was in revenge for the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud in November. The attack tatters the government’s year-long effort to use the prospect of peace talks to avoid a military confrontation with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

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