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Pakistan

Gunmen storm airport; 13 dead

Attackers dressed as police guards

  • A Pakistani soldier takes position at Jinnah International Airport  where security forces are fighting with gunmen who disguised themselves as police guards and stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated.  (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    A Pakistani soldier takes position at Jinnah International Airport where security forces are fighting with gunmen who disguised themselves as police guards and stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

  • Volunteers look at dead bodies of people killed during an attack by unknown gunmen on Jinnah International Airport, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan. Gunmen disguised as police guards stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city Sunday night, killing at least nine people as explosions echoed into the night, officials said.  (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

    Volunteers look at dead bodies of people killed during an attack by unknown gunmen on Jinnah International Airport, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan. Gunmen disguised as police guards stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city Sunday night, killing at least nine people as explosions echoed into the night, officials said. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

  • Pakistani police commandos help an injured colleague at Jinnah International Airport where security forces are fighting with gunmen who disguised themselves as police guards and stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    Pakistani police commandos help an injured colleague at Jinnah International Airport where security forces are fighting with gunmen who disguised themselves as police guards and stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

  • Pakistani commandos get ready to enter Karachi airport terminal following attacks by unknown gunmen on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    Pakistani commandos get ready to enter Karachi airport terminal following attacks by unknown gunmen on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

  • Pakistan army troops arrive at Karachi airport following an attack by unknown gunmen disguised as police guards who stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated.   (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

    Pakistan army troops arrive at Karachi airport following an attack by unknown gunmen disguised as police guards who stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

  • A boy jumps as people cool off themselves in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Many cities in Pakistan are facing heat wave conditions with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in some places. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

    A boy jumps as people cool off themselves in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Many cities in Pakistan are facing heat wave conditions with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in some places. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

  • fire illuminates the sky above Karachi airport terminal where security forces are fighting with attackers Pakistani security troops rushing to Karach on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    fire illuminates the sky above Karachi airport terminal where security forces are fighting with attackers Pakistani security troops rushing to Karach on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

  • A boy jumps as people cool themselves off in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Many cities in Pakistan are facing heat wave conditions with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in some places. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

    A boy jumps as people cool themselves off in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Many cities in Pakistan are facing heat wave conditions with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in some places. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

  • A Pakistani soldier takes position at Jinnah International Airport  where security forces are fighting with gunmen who disguised themselves as police guards and stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated.  (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
  • Volunteers look at dead bodies of people killed during an attack by unknown gunmen on Jinnah International Airport, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan. Gunmen disguised as police guards stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city Sunday night, killing at least nine people as explosions echoed into the night, officials said.  (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
  • Pakistani police commandos help an injured colleague at Jinnah International Airport where security forces are fighting with gunmen who disguised themselves as police guards and stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
  • Pakistani commandos get ready to enter Karachi airport terminal following attacks by unknown gunmen on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
  • Pakistan army troops arrive at Karachi airport following an attack by unknown gunmen disguised as police guards who stormed a terminal used for VIPs and cargo, Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. The airport attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan, although officials said all the passengers had been evacuated.   (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
  • A boy jumps as people cool off themselves in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Many cities in Pakistan are facing heat wave conditions with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in some places. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
  • fire illuminates the sky above Karachi airport terminal where security forces are fighting with attackers Pakistani security troops rushing to Karach on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
  • A boy jumps as people cool themselves off in a canal in Lahore, Pakistan, where temperature reached 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Many cities in Pakistan are facing heat wave conditions with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in some places. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Gunmen disguised as police guards attacked a terminal at Pakistan’s busiest airport yesterday with machine guns and a rocket launcher during a five-hour siege that killed 13 people as explosions echoed into the night, officials said.

A separate suicide bombing in the country’s southwest killed 23 Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran, authorities said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, named after the founder of Pakistan, nor the suicide bombing in Baluchistan province. However, the attacks come as government-led peace talks with the local Taliban faction and other militants have floundered in recent weeks.

The airport attack began late yesterday in Karachi, although officials said all of the passengers had been evacuated. During the course of the attack, heavy gunfire and multiple explosions could be heard coming from the terminal, used for VIP flights and cargo, as militants and security forces battled for control. A major fire rose from the airport, illuminating the night sky in an orange glow as the silhouettes of jets could be seen.

The deadly operation was carried out by 10 militants, said the chief minister of Sindh province, Qaim Ali Shah.

“They were well-trained. Their plan was very well thought out,” he told reporters. He said they intended to destroy some of the aircraft and buildings but were not able to.

The spokesman for the Pakistani military, Gen. Asim Bajwa, said on Twitter that no aircraft was damaged and that as a precautionary measure, security forces were sweeping the airport before operations would be returned to the Civil Aviation Authority and the airport police.

Taliban...go figure

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