Gunmen attack security checkpost outside Pakistan's Karachi Airport

KARACHI (AFP/Reuters) - A security checkpost outside Pakistan's Karachi Airport was attacked by gunmen on Tuesday, an official spokesman told AFP, a day after an all-night siege by the Taleban left 37 dead.

"Gunmen are exchanging fire with Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel at a checkpost guarding the airport," an ASF spokesman said. TV footage showed paramilitary vehicles and ambulances racing to the scene of the attack.

"We have suspended all flight operations at Karachi Airport and we are evacuating passengers," said Mr Mashud Tajwar, a spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines. The checkpost is located at the entrance of an ASF camp some 500m away from the main airport premises.

An academy run by the ASF, a unit tasked with protecting Karachi Airport, also came under fire on Tuesday, Pakistani news channels and a security source said. "The ASF academy is under attack. There is gunfire. The extent of the damage is not clear," said a senior official at the Federal Investigation Agency. It was unclear who was firing at whom.

The assault came as Pakistan launched air strikes on a militant-infested tribal district, killing 15 people in apparent retaliation for Monday's assault.

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