Heavily armed Taliban militants stormed the Karachi airport on Sunday, killing at least 27 people. This attack on Pakistan’s major airport does not bode well for future peace talks between the extremist group and Nawaz Sharif, the country’s prime minister.
10 heavily armed gunmen, dressed as military forces, blasted their way into one of the older terminals at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, shortly after midnight. Gunfire raged on throughout the night until security forces took back control of the airport around dawn.
At least three militants blew themselves up during the battle, while 10 others were killed by paramilitary troops. A huge stash of weapons and ammunition was recovered from the insurgents.
Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Taliban claimed that the strike served as a reminder to the Pakistan government that Taliban forces are alive and well, and will continue to react to the bombings in their villages, as well government army attacks on their defenses near the Afghan border.
Recent negotiations between the Pakistan Taliban and the government had failed, discouraging the hopes of a settlement anytime soon.
This latest episode also damages Sharif’s plans to boost the country’s economic growth by attracting foreign investors, and highlights questionable security at major facilities like the airport.
For now, airport operations have resumed, but it may be sometime before any peace talks resume.
Photo: International Business Times