UPDATE: According to AP, at least 13 people have been killed in the attack.
Gunmen have launched an attack on Karachi's international airport, according to multiple reports. Up to 10 heavily armed assailants have reportedly killed at least nine people at the old terminal at Jinnah International Airport. Eyewitnesses said the attackers, who gained access to the airport with forged identity cards, threw explosives at staff.
In a separate incident on Sunday night, suicide bombers in the southwest of the country entered a hotel and killed 23 Shiite pilgrims, who were returning from a trip to Iran.
Flights from Jinnah International Airport have been suspended from taking off, while inbound flights have been diverted. The army has closed all roads around the airport, while a state of emergency has been declared in the city.
Three planes are reported to have been damaged, with the attackers having boarded at least one aircraft. Huge plumes of billowing smoke have been seen coming from aircraft parked on the tarmac.
Reported by AP, Sarmad Hussain, who works for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), said three men killed worked for the Airport Security Force (ASF) while the other two worked for PIA. He said: "I was working at my office when I heard big blasts — several blasts — and then there were heavy gunshots." Two gunmen are also reported to have died following initial exchanges with the ASF.
Speaking to AFP, police official Rao Muhammad Anwar said: "Exchange of fire is continuing. We don't know the exact number of the attackers."
A Pakistani doctor told AP that five bodies had been brought to the local hospital, as well as one wounded person. Local TV has aired footage of a large fire at the airport, possibly a jet ablaze.
According to Dawn, national army troops have been dispatched to deal with the attackers.
There is no confirmation yet as to who is carrying out the attack, however, the Pakistani government is currently attempting to broker a peace deal with anti-government militants in the northwest of the country, with fears in recent weeks that the militants could reprise attacks should negotiations prove fruitless.
Suggest a correction