TALIBAN ATTEMPT TO HIJACK AIR PLANE IN DEADLY PAKISTAN AIRPORT ATTACK! (VIDEO)

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Their backpacks stuffed with food and ammunition, a squad of highly trained Taliban fighters attacked Pakistan’s biggest airport in what they clearly expected to be a protracted siege.

Seven fighters were shot dead by Pakistani forces after five hours of intense gunfire at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. Three died after detonating their suicide-bomb belts.

The Pakistani Taliban said they carried out the attack in response to air strikes in their strongholds near the Afghan border and that their mission was to hijack a passenger plane.

“The main goal of this attack was to damage the government, including by hijacking planes and destroying state installations,” said Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman.

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“This was just an example of what we are capable of and there is more to come. The government should be ready for even worse attacks.”

At least 27 people, including 10 militants, were killed.

In a similar well-coordinated attack in 2011, militants besieged a naval base in Karachi to avenge the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a secret U.S. special forces operation that year.

The latest assault started just before midnight on Sunday.

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Wearing Airport Security Force uniforms and armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the group shot its way into the airport after arriving at the cargo terminal in two mini-vans.

A senior police officer said that the militants then split into two groups, with one attacking a gate called Fokker to create a diversion and the other storming the cargo terminal.

Another senior police officer, Raja Umar Khattab, told Reuters that the attackers then broke into groups of two and pressed ahead with the assault.

“They operated in pairs. That’s why their bodies were found lying in pairs,” he said. “It seems there was some ill-planning on their part. They did fire two rockets but they didn’t hit their targets.”

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He added: “They wasted 10 men, but couldn’t inflict serious damage on the airport. They didn’t wear suicide vests, but instead used suicide belts. This is the reason why their faces and upper bodies were not badly mutilated.”

By Syed Raza Hassan

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Raw: Deadly Attack on Pakistan Airport

Video courtesy of Associated Press

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