Karachi, Pakistan (CNN) — Clashes at Pakistan’s largest and busiest airport left more than 20 people dead after militants armed with grenades stormed into a cargo area Sunday.
Violence erupted at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi around 11:30 p.m. Sunday and raged on for more than five hours as security forces fought off attackers, leaving some passengers trapped inside the airport.
Officials at Jinnah Hospital said the dead included eight members of airport security forces, two Pakistan International Airlines employees and one ranger.
All ten militants involved in the attack were killed, military spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said. Two of them detonated suicide vests, he said.
Amidst the usual fog of terrorism some are reporting that these mass murderers were from Uzbekistan, a Sunni stronghold without a common border with Afghanistan.
One of the Taliban groups, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and “umbrella” group for Taliban groups in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pakistani government had been negotiating with the TTP, but those negotiations broke down a month ago.
Others, including the man supposedly responsible for the attack on Mumbai a few years back, has been trying to blame India for the assault, especially the “security team” of the man favored to lead India after the upcoming election.
Although elite commandos moved quickly to counter the assault, many Pakistanis expressed shock that militants could penetrate such a prominent target so thoroughly and raised questions about why the attack had not been prevented by the military’s powerful spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.
Considering that the ISI is pretty much either a partner, or a subsidiary of the Taliban (Osama bin Laden was under its protection while living in Pakistan), this isn’t exactly a surprise.