Insurgents attack Karachi airport cargo terminal

Flights to and from Pakistan’s busiest air freight hub, Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, were expected to resume on Monday although cargo shipments may be disrupted for several days after armed insurgents attacked parts of the country’s largest airport.

Several explosions were reported and gunfire was exchanged between the attackers and Pakistan’s military, resulting in as many as 28 deaths, including 10 militants, and the cancellation of flights.

The attack by armed militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban was focused on an airport terminal building currently used for cargo and VIP flights.

The army said 10 gunmen stormed Jinnah International Airport in two teams of five on Sunday at 23.00 local time (18.00 GMT).

Authorities shut Jinnah shortly after the assault began and diverted flights to other airports.

The attackers are believed to have entered the area using fake ID cards, although some reports suggest they cut through a barbed-wire fence.

They reportedly threw grenades and fired at security guards in the old terminal, which is now only used for cargo and VIP operations.

Seven of the attackers were later shot dead during a gun battle which lasted until about 04.30 local time, while another three reportedly detonated their explosives in what appeared to be suicide bombs.

The militants also reportedly set fire to cargo, but no aircraft were damaged, airport officials said.

After Pakistan’s military quelled the initial attack, there were reports of fresh violence early this morning, although airport officials said the siege was now over and flights were set to resume Monday.

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