QUETTA - Gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked Jiwani airport in Gwadar before dawn on Sunday, killing two engineers and destroying the facility's radar system, authorities said.
Meerak Baloch, a spokesman for the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) -- a separatist group in the country's southwest -- claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.
About a dozen armed men on motorcycles were involved in the attack, said provincial government spokesman Jan Muhammad Buledi. "They entered the control room at about 3:30 am and set it on fire," said a senior police official in the province. He said the militants killed electronics superintendent identified as Khalilullah, wounded one and kidnapped electronics engineer Mehmudullah Niazi. The body of the abducted engineer Niazi was later found in nearby mountains on Sunday afternoon, police said.
Police sources said that the kidnapped engineer was shot from a close range. According to sources, security was not tight in and around the airport at the time of attack. Earlier, a warning was issued by the authorities to tighten the security across the country’s airport due to some immediate terror threat. The assailants sped away on their motorcycles after the attack. Flights have not been running to Jewani airport since Pakistan International Airlines, the state carrier, suspended service several years ago. However, a staff of civil aviation workers continued to maintain the airport's radar and navigational systems. Last year, Pakistani Taliban fighters staged a stunning attack on the international airport in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, killing 34 people in a five-hour battle before authorities killed the militants.