Gunmen opened fire near the international airport in Karachi, Pakistan Tuesday. The incident came two days after another attack at the airport that left at least 36 people dead.
Officials say at least two gunmen targeted the training center of the Airport Security Force. The attackers reportedly were riding a motorbike. They fled as security forces answered the attack. Pakistan’s busiest airport was closed briefly. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Nisar Ali Khan is Pakistan’s Interior Minister. On Tuesday, he told parliament that the attackers last weekend carried rocket launchers and rocket-propelled grenades. He said they attempted to destroy aircraft, but were prevented from doing so by security forces. Security force members died in the attack.
The interior minister also said the attackers carried a large amount of food and medicine. He said this was evidence that they were planning to take hostages.
Pakistan officials said that 10 gunmen and seven airport workers were killed in the attack on Sunday. The bodies of the workers at an airport cargo company were found in a storage area that burned as gunmen attacked the airport.
Hours earlier, Sunni Muslim militants killed at least 26 Shiites in a suicide attack along Pakistan’s border with Iran. Officials reported that one suicide bomber was killed and three others took their own lives.
A Taliban spokesman linked the airport attack to recent military strikes along the Afghan border. He also linked the airport attack to the killing of the Taliban’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.
On Tuesday, the Pakistani military again carried out airstrikes on suspected Taliban targets in the northwestern Khyber area. Military officials say at least 25 “terrorists” were killed.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said on Monday that he was “deeply concerned” about rising levels of violence across Pakistan. He urged the Pakistani government to increase its effort to protect religious freedom.