Official: 5 killed in attack on Pakistan airport

KARACHI, Pakistan — Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan’s largest city Sunday night, killing five people and wounding another, officials said.

The attack still was ongoing early Monday in Karachi, a sprawling port city on the southern coast of Pakistan. Gunfire could be heard coming from the terminal as authorities scrambled to secure the area.

Five bodies were brought from the airport to Jinnah Hospital, along with one person who had been wounded, said Dr. Seemi Jamali at the hospital.

Gunmen attacked the terminal late Sunday, said Shaukat Jamal, a spokesman for the Airport Security Force. Pakistani television stations aired footage of what appeared to be a major fire at the airport, with the silhouette of a jet seen.

Jamal said the Pakistani military has been called in and that police were fighting the attackers.

The attack happened at a terminal not generally used for commercial flights but for special VIP flights and for cargo.

Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and has been the site of frequent militant attacks in the past. It is the country’s economic heart and any militant activity targeting the airport likely would strike a heavy blow at foreign investment in the country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Pakistan’s government has been trying to negotiate a peace deal with militants mostly based in the northwest who have been waging war against the government. But the talks have had little success, raising fears that the militants will increase attacks across the country.