Police commandos take up positions as they arrive at Jinnah
International Airport in Karachi. REUTERS/Athar Hussain
Gunmen have attacked one of Pakistan's biggest airports
and at least 23 people have been killed, including all 10 of
the attackers, media are reporting.
The attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi,
Pakistan's sprawling commercial hub of 18 million people,
took place as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government tries
to engage Pakistani Taliban militants in negotiations to end
years of fighting.
Gun battles went on for several hours and television pictures
showed fire raging at the airport as ambulances ferried
casualties away, but by dawn on Monday (local time), the army
said the airport had been secured.
"(The attackers) were confined to two areas and eliminated,"
the Dawn newspaper cited military spokesman Major-General
Asim Bajwa as saying.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Pakistani
Taliban militants, allied with but separate from the Afghan
Taliban, are battling to overthrow the Pakistani state and
impose their hardline vision of Islamist rule.
Earlier, officials said all flights had been diverted.
Peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Taliban
have failed in recent months, dampening hopes of reaching a
negotiated settlement with the insurgency, which continues
attacks against government and security targets.