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Death Toll Rises to 36, in Brazen Taliban Attack at Pakistan's Karachi Airport
Written by Sana Saleem On 8 June 2014 @ 21:19 pm | 4 Comments
In Breaking News, English, Feature, Pakistan, South Asia, Weblog
Last update at 04:50 GMT, June 10.
Following hours of digging, seven more bodies  were recovered from a collapsed cold storage facility at Karachi's Jinnah International, 32 hours after militants launched their six-hour siege at Pakistan's busiest airport, bringing the death toll from the brazen attack to 36.
A few hours after the Pakistan military had cleared the airport of militants, Pakistani journalist Noman Ahmed reported that 7 employees with the shipping company Gerry's were still stuck in a warehouse  at the airport that partially collapsed during the assault.
— Noman Ahmed (@n0man) June 9, 2014 
According to Pakistan's leading English daily Dawn, the employees had taken refuge in the cold-storage facility to escape the carnage, but a wall of the warehouse collapsed trapping them . They were in contact with their family during the attack:
“We are looking into this and according to the families some seven people were trapped inside the cold storage and were in contact with the families on cell phone,” said Abid Qaimkhani, a spokesman for CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). Earlier last night, the families of the seven airport workers had blocked Shahra e Faisal  [main road] demanding that authorities work towards freeing their relatives who were trapped.
The militants reportedly entered from an old terminal reserved for cargo and VIP movement, with fake Airport Security Force  IDs, automatic weapons, grenades and RPGs. The airport reopened for travel, 17 hours after the initial attack.
— CAA Pakistan (@AirportPakistan) June 9, 2014 
The 6-hour siege  which started in the late hours of Sunday June 8, left 28 people dead, 10 of whom were militants. No passengers was killed in the brazen attack. Eighteen people from the airport staff, Pakistan's national airline and security forces were also killed.
Just before 5 am, Pakistan time, the military's chief spokesman tweeted that the last of the attackers had been killed. The spokesman was giving live updates of the military operation at the airport throughout the night.
#Kci  Update:Remaining 4 terrorists also killed in gunfight, bringing the total killed to 10,Alhamdulillah- at 0435.
— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) June 8, 2014 
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have claimed responsibility  for the brazen attack saying it was revenge for the army's air strikes along the Afghan border.
One suicide bomber blew himself up during the attack. All passengers who were stranded in aircrafts during the siege were safely moved into the main terminal building after the initial siege ended. Militants also damaged three empty parked airplanes.
Live tweets from on the runway
This Twitter user – Syed Saim Rizvi – was stranded on an Emirates plane at the airport during the siege:
I have no words for emirates staff! They are fully in fear but trying to serve us & trying to normalize passengers . SSG com chambered now
— Syed Saim A. Rizvi (@saim_riz) June 8, 2014 
Huge blast !!!!!! I do not know whats going on out side — heavy firing started again – full panic on board !
— Syed Saim A. Rizvi (@saim_riz) June 8, 2014 
Earlier he tweeted:
I am still in the plane – emirates staff ordered earlier to off load all passengers but now we have to stay on board. Heavy firing & blasts
— Syed Saim A. Rizvi (@saim_riz) June 8, 2014 
How the attack unfolded
— CAA Pakistan (@AirportPakistan) June 8, 2014 
Karachi Airport under siege as number of attacker are between 15-20. Emergency Declared at All Airports # Pakistan
— Dr Shahid Masood (@Shahidmasooddr) June 8, 2014 
Amidst all the madness, my prayers for the families of the ASF, PIA and CAA staffers who lost their lives in the attack on JIAP. #Karachi 
— Yusra Askari (@YusraSAskari) June 8, 2014 
Most importantly, there are still passengers inside an aircraft on the tarmac. #KarachiAirportAttack 
— Ali Dayan Hasan (@AliDayan) June 8, 2014 
While the attack and the operation was underway some praised the Twitter account @AirportPakistan: 
@AirportPakistan  is textbook case of how authorities should use social media in crisis situation to give out information & tackle rumours.
— Rezaul Hasan Laskar (@Rezhasan) June 8, 2014 
Most accurate and timely information regarding flight schedules and diversions from @AirportPakistan 
— Zahra Hidayatullah (@ZHidayatullah) June 8, 2014 
History repeats itself?
Some people compared the latest attack at Karachi's airport to the Mehran Naval Base attack that happened in Karachi in 2011.
In previous attack (mehran base) they took two days to clear the premises…. It covers ten times the area of Mehran Base….!!
— Abdullah Mukaddam (@AbMukaddam) June 8, 2014 
While media channels were reporting on the military operation, some complained about lack of security around the airport area.
GHQ attack, Mehran Naval Base attack,PAF Kamra Base attack, Khi Airport attack but don't worry, we have the world's best intelligence agency
— Maham Ali (@Mahamali05) June 8, 2014 
— Suo motu (@theboilingfrogs) June 8, 2014 
So Bold Leader: “Nawaz Sharif directs DG Rangers to ensure safety of all passengers at #Karachi  airport”
— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) June 8, 2014 
Unfortunately, as is typical of breaking news coverage, there were conflicting reports regarding the number of attackers, as well as other rumors regarding a plane being burned down or hijacked, here are some reactions from Twitter in response to shoddy media reports:
— FK (@faisalkapadia) June 8, 2014 
Stupid Media reporting false news abt karachi airport ,,,plane has Not been hijacked ,they r now undercover by the police #MainstreamMedia 
— Osama Khan (@Osama_Mufc7) June 8, 2014 
— Dexter (@dextershani) June 8, 2014 
— Samra Muslim (@samramuslim) June 8, 2014 
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/06/08/breaking-live-tweets-from-the-runway-pakistans-karachi-airport-under-attack/
URLs in this post:
 Image: https://twitter.com/dawn_com/status/475863449121996802/photo/1
 seven more bodies: http://www.dawn.com/news/1111784/seven-bodies-recovered-from-karachi-airports-cold-storage-facility
 stuck in a warehouse: https://twitter.com/n0man/status/476043128290680834
 #KarachiAirportAttack: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KarachiAirportAttack&src=hash
 pic.twitter.com/Y3Tv18DnkC: http://t.co/Y3Tv18DnkC
 June 9, 2014: https://twitter.com/n0man/statuses/476043810099953666
 families of the seven airport workers had blocked Shahra e Faisal: http://www.dawn.com/news/1111601/
 with fake Airport Security Force: http://www.dawn.com/news/1111397/karachi-airports-old-terminal-attacked-army-called-in
 reopened : http://www.dawn.com/news/1111581/karachi-airport-handed-over-to-caa-open-for-operations
 #Jinnah: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Jinnah&src=hash
 #Pakistan: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Pakistan&src=hash
 June 9, 2014: https://twitter.com/AirportPakistan/statuses/476004796873203713
 6-hour siege: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-150198-Attack-on-Karachi-airport-leaves-28-dead,-TTP-accepts-responsibility
 #Kci: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Kci&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/AsimBajwaISPR/statuses/475782673667858432
 claimed responsibility: http://www.dawn.com/news/1111397/ttp-claims-attack-on-karachi-airport
 Image: https://twitter.com/ahsannagi/status/475725066656051200/photo/1
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/saim_riz/statuses/475731088384327680
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/saim_riz/statuses/475727346180190209
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/saim_riz/statuses/475719707853471744
 #Karachi: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Karachi&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/AirportPakistan/statuses/475708682265559040
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/Shahidmasooddr/statuses/475709498703609856
 #KarachiAirport: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KarachiAirport&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/najiaashar/statuses/475715305507803137
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/YusraSAskari/statuses/475731355607646208
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/AliDayan/statuses/475719433181093888
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/afiasalam/statuses/475711718304538624
 @AirportPakistan:: https://twitter.com/AirportPakistan
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/Rezhasan/statuses/475738835830046720
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/ZHidayatullah/statuses/475726487220277248
 Mehran Naval Base attack : http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/05/22/pakistan-huge-blasts-at-a-pakistan-naval-air-base-in-karachi/
 #MehranBase: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MehranBase&src=hash
 #Airport: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Airport&src=hash
 #KarachiairportAttack: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KarachiairportAttack&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/KamalFaridi/statuses/475711265902698496
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/AbMukaddam/statuses/475725737488437248
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/Mahamali05/statuses/475717878927224833
 #karachiairport: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23karachiairport&src=hash
 #pakistan: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23pakistan&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/theboilingfrogs/statuses/475722007003148288
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/fasi_zaka/statuses/475730173040414720
 #untrained: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23untrained&src=hash
 #onairlunacy: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23onairlunacy&src=hash
 #KhiAirportattack: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KhiAirportattack&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/faisalkapadia/statuses/475727325011521537
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/afiasalam/statuses/475726719476047873
 #MainstreamMedia: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MainstreamMedia&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/Osama_Mufc7/statuses/475731878196936705
 #karachiAirport: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23karachiAirport&src=hash
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/dextershani/statuses/475730656706981888
 @AnasMallick: https://twitter.com/AnasMallick
 June 8, 2014: https://twitter.com/samramuslim/statuses/475734044991168512
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