KARACHI – At least 10 high-tech gorilla-terrorists equipped with heavy weaponry gunned down during Karachi Airport debacle, claimed Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Rizwan Akhter.
A well coordinated operation was carried out at the Karachi Airport by Airport Security Force (ASF), Sindh Rangers and Pakistan Army soldiers which still continues on Monday.
According to the latest updates one more Sindh Rangers’ soldier sustained bullet injuries on Monday morning while security forces trying to take on the contained terrorists in one of the buildings of airport.
According to security forces, a loud explosion was also heard across the airport, however the intensity of the blast is still uncertain.
Karachi Airport’s old terminal was attacked by heavily armed assailants on Sunday night. The Pakistan Army spokesman earlier stated that the entire airport was cordoned off and all militants had been killed during the operation.
A search operation was conducted by the security forces in the early hours of Monday morning during which five sub-machine guns (SMGs), three suicide jackets, two rocket launchers and 12 petrol bombs were recovered.
Director General of Sindh Rangers, Maj-Gen Rizwan Akhtar while addressing a press conference claimed that according to the initial reports, unidentified foreign militants were apparently involved in the attack.
At least 23 people have been reportedly killed, including security personnel.
Ten militants were also among the dead.
ISPR Spokesman Asim Bajwa said that the militants “were confined to two areas and eliminated.”
He said that weapons, live ammunition, including RPGs, were recovered from the militants.
Bajwa said that they were wearing large packs on their bodies.
The ISPR spokesman said that Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif “congratulated participating troops for a well coordinated, successful operation eliminating all militants”.
He also said that Raheel Sharif “paid rich tribute to all shaheed and injured for their supreme sacrifice”.
Some eight to 10 attackers were said to have engaged security forces in a gunbattle.
Earlier, Pakistan Army troops were called in to deal with the situation and troops from Malir Cantonment have been dispatched, while police commandos and Karachi Rangers are assisting.
A huge explosion was heard over two hours into the attack. A second large explosion was heard near the airport workshop. A third massive explosion was heard a further 30-40 minutes in. Huge clouds of smoke continue to dominate the skyline.
Intermittent firing took place at the airport, while large plumes of smoke were seen over the cargo terminal.
One plane each of PIA and AirBlue, and a cargo plane of a foreign company were reported to have been damaged.
A hand grenade attack was also carried out on the Isphani Hanger.
Suicide bombers were reportedly part of the militant squad that has infiltrated the airport.
Staff is being rescued by the security personnel and moved to safer areas. Rescue teams are being allowed in after being checked thoroughly. Passengers have been evacuated and moved to a secure location.
Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif called DG Rangers Sindh and asked him to ensure the safety of passengers.
All flight operations at Jinnah Terminal have been suspended and flights have been diverted to other airports.
Pakistan correspondent for the Daily Telegraph Rob Crilly reported that he had spoken to MQM leader Farooq Sattar and stated that, “He sounds calm but understandably concerned about being stuck on plane filled with aviation fuel.”
Irresponsible Media and Journalists
However, the much bigger disaster was the attitude of conventional Pakistani media houses and senior journalists as they kept informing the already terrified audience about the minor details of horrific incident.
Some senior journalists kept tweeting the details while others gave live beepers to tell which forces have been deployed and under whose orders.
The similar irresponsible attitude was demonstrated by the robust ‘free’ media in Pakistan in October 2009 when General Headquarters of Pakistan Army came under attack by the terrorists.