Five people dead in attack on airport in Karachi, Pakistan: police

Reuters
Soldiers sit in a vehicle at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
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Soldiers sit in a vehicle at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi June 9, 2014 in this still image …

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Gunmen attacked one of Pakistan's biggest airports in Karachi on Sunday, killing at least five people, police said.

The attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan's sprawling commercial hub of 18 million, took place as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government tries to engage Taliban militants in negotiations to end years of fighting.

"The old terminal of Karachi airport was attacked by militants," said a senior police official.

Officials said all flights had been diverted.

"All flights destined for Karachi have been diverted to other cities," said a civil aviation authority spokesman.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Over half a dozen armed men made towards the runway from the backside of the airport," said a private television channel, quoting a witness.

Peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Taliban - separate to but allied with the Afghan Taliban - have failed in recent months, dampening hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement with the insurgency, which continues attacks against government and security targets.

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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