"We carried out this attack on the Karachi airport and it is a message to the Pakistani government that we are still alive to react over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages," TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement to the media. He said that the attack was also carried out to avenge the killing of former Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike.
For nearly six hours the Jinnah international airport which is close to the old airport terminal was shut down and all flights diverted as heavy exchange of gunfire took place and thick plumes of smoke and fire could be seen rising from inside the runway area where the terrorists took cover in the hanger and engineering workshops.
Several loud explosions were also heard but officials confirmed that no aircraft was damaged nor any important assets or installations damaged during the operation. "Those martyred include the ASF personnel, civilian engineers and personnel of CAA and PIA and a police officer while a dozen have also been injured and are admitted to hospital," said Sagheer Ahmed, the Sindh minister for health.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif described the attack as cowardly and said it was another example of how terrorists were trying to destroy important installations and locations of the government. "But I can tell you these terrorists will not succeed in their aims and will be defeated," Asif said.
The attack was reminiscent of the deadly raid carried out by 15 TTP militants in May, 2011, on the Mehran naval airbase here in which the attackers killed some 18 navy personnel and damaged aircraft before being killed in a counter-attack.