Militants attack Karachi airport; 10 killed in clashes

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KARACHI, Pakistan — Militants attacked Pakistan’s largest and busiest airport on Sunday, killing four military commandos and leaving some passengers stuck in sealed-off areas as violence erupted, a senior Pakistani official said.

At least six militants were killed in clashes at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, but some remain on the loose, police Inspector General Iqbal Mehmood said.

Clashes broke out after attackers armed with grenades stormed the airport through three entrances, said Ahmad Chinoy, director-general of the citizen’s police liaison committee.

All flights at the airport have been canceled, and some passengers are trapped in a lounge area, Chinoy said.

The violence started in a cargo and VIP area of the airport late Sunday night and continued for more than three hours into Monday morning, sending a plume of smoke over the airport.

A cargo plane was damaged and set ablaze in the fighting, Chinoy said. The airport’s cargo area is about a kilometer (0.62 miles) away from the area where commercial planes take off.

Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa of the Pakistani Army said in a Twitter post that terrorists were “contained in one area” at the airport.

“All passengers in planes evacuated to safer places,” he said. “Hunt for terrorists on.”