Gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked Jiwani airport near Balochistan’s Gwadar district, killing two, officials said.
Up to a dozen attackers torched navigation equipment at Jiwani airport in Gwadar district before entering the building, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.
“The attackers entered the building and killed a superintendent and injured a supervisor critically,” spokesperson Pervez George told AFP.
“Around 12 armed men on six motorcycles attacked the airport at around 4:30am killing a CAA engineer,” Gwadar Deputy Commissioner Abdul Hameed Abro said quoting SHO Jiwani.
“The assailants also kidnapped airport manager, Mehmood Niazi.” Later during the day, Niazi’s body was found from near the airport.
Further, the deputy commissioner said, “The airport radar system was also destroyed in the attack.”
The airport has not been in use for the past 20 years.
Abdul Hameed Abro, a senior government official in Gwadar, confirmed the incident and told AFP that security forces had launched a search operation to recover the engineer and find the attackers.
Meerak Baloch, a spokesperson for the Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the attack and asked Mekran commissioner for a report probing the incident. “Those responsible for the attack will be traced and punished,” he added.
The attack came three days after Pakistan on Thursday issued a high security alert for all the major airports in the country and asked smaller airports to remain vigilant, an official said.
The official said all airports in Balochistan were put on high alert after the attack and had boosted security.
Airports remain under constant threat as the country’s fighter jets launch airstrikes against militants from these bases.
Last June, 10 Taliban militants laid siege to Karachi airport, killing 27 people. The military responded by launching a major offensive in the North Waziristan tribal district, considered a bastion of Taliban and al Qaeda militants.
Further, last year, a group of armed men disguised in security forces’ uniform attacked the international radar in the coastal town of Pasni, Gwadar killing one Balochistan Constabulary official and injuring another.