WASHINGTON — Taliban forces in Pakistan stormed the busiest airport in the country of Pakistan and killed at least twenty-seven people. The Taliban’s influence has spread from Afghanistan, where they are fighting Western forces, to neighboring Pakistan.
Reuters reported that the militants snuck in as Pakistani security forces and immediately started to fight, and apparently they had dried rations to hold out in a prolonged siege.
The airport, Jinnah International Airport, is located in the city of Karachi. A Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said, “The main goal of this attack was to damage the government, including by hijacking planes and destroying state installations.” It also damaged any potential for foreign investors to commit to invest in the country, which was a recent effort by the newly-elected Pakistani government.
Ten gunmen in military uniforms arrived at a cargo terminal in two minivans and shot their way in. A police officer said that the militants fought in pairs, with one group creating a diversion and the other heading toward the cargo terminal. They were armed with rocket-propelled grenades (known as RPG’s) and automatic rifles, but missed hitting airliners with their RPG’s.