Zee Media Bureau/Sushmita Dutta/Ritu Singh
Karachi: Heavily armed gunmen laid siege to Jinnah International Airport`s old terminal in Pakistan`s financial capital on Sunday night killing at least thirteen people.
Latest reports reveal that Pakistan army finally took control of Karachi airport and all the terrorists have reportedly been killed.
"Update: Area cleared. No damage to aircraft, fire visible in pics was not plane but a building, now extinguished. All vital assets intact," tweeted Major General Asim Bajwa at 4:35 am.
Bajwa added that a total of 10 militants were killed in clashes with security forces, and that ammunition, rockets and RPGs were recovered from the attackers, who wore "big packs".
According to initial reports, assailants opened fire at the VVIP terminal(1), due to which many flights were diverted.The militants are said to have entered from the Fokker gate which is used by engineering staff to go to the runaway and hangers.
This terminal is primarily used for Haj operations.
"The militants were armed with automatic weapons and grenades and were exchanging gunfire with security officials," senior police official Rao Muhammad Anwar said.
Pak agencies stated that attackers hurled grenades and few aircraft caught fire as a result.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called DG Rangers Sindh and asked him to ensure the safety of passengers.
Police and Pakistan Rangers cordoned-off the entire airport area and routes leading to the terminal were sealed.
A spokesman for the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said that passengers and visitors at the Jinnah international airport which is close to the old terminal building had been shifted to safe and secure locations.
"The airport runaway is secured now and the passengers and visitors safe. The operation to apprehend these attackers is expected to end soon," he said.
Those injured were shifted to a nearby hospital.
All flight operations at Jinnah Terminal was suspended and was diverted to Nawabshah and Quetta.
"Security high alert has also been sounded off at the other airports of the country," as reported by a police official said.
Defence minister, Khawaja Asif described the attack as cowardly and said it was another example of how terrorists were trying to destroy important installations and locations of the government.
"But I can tell you these terrorists will not succeed in their aims and will be defeated," Asif said.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif, daughter of Nawaz Sharif took to Twitter to express her grief over the whole incident.
Heartfelt duas for those who laid down their lives and the bereaved families. U die so we can live! No words suffice.
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) June 8, 2014
This attack is reminiscent of the deadly attack carried out by some 15 militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban in May, 2011 on the Mehran naval airbase here in which the attackers killed some 18 personnel and damaged aircraft before being killed in a counter attack.