• Shortly after 11.15pm on Sunday, two groups of militants about five each in number carrying backpacks and armed with assault AK-47 and 222 rifles stormed the old terminal of the airport through its Fokker gate and customs clearance gate.
• Around midnight, the first casualty of the gory episode was reported when five ASF personnel were killed one after the other by one of the attackers’ groups in a facility close to the Fokker gate.
• The airport premises reverberated with gunfire and deafening explosions believed to be of hand-grenades the militants were lobbing at the security personnel.
• At almost the same time, the lights on the runway and all buildings inside the airport premises were switched off, a move which the security forces believed proved crucial as it helped sever coordination among the militants groups.
• In the meantime, police high-ups, ASF authorities, senior Rangers officials and high-ranking Pakistan Army officers met at the CCTV control room and designed a strategy to meet the challenge.
• One militant group moved into Isphahani Hangar and the other into cargo godowns. The first batch of Rangers and police commandos entered the airport and joined the ASF men’s stand against the attackers near Isphahani Hangar. Casualties of the ASF and other security men were reported mainly near these two spots.
• The militants attacked ground staff of the PIA and Shaheen Air International inside the Isphahani Hangar while they were performing their routine job. Three employees of PIA, two of the Civil Aviation Authority and a worker of Shaheen Air International were killed.
• A little after 1am the army commandos joined the battle alongside other security personnel and then began the decisive exchange of gunfire between the security forces and attackers, who were frequently lobbing hand-grenades from Isphahani Hangar and cargo godowns.
• After 2am all passengers on board local and international flights were rescued and moved to the lounge of Jinnah International Airport.
• The first militant was reported killed at around 2:10am and by 4:30am the ISPR announced deaths of all 10 attackers after a five-hour operation.
• At 2pm on Monday, the security forces cleared the Jinnah terminal and other facilities of the airport and allowed CAA to take control of the country’s busiest airport after 15 hours.
• At 4pm flight operation resumed after 17-hour suspension when an Islamabad-bound PIA flight PK-308 took off from the Jinnah International Airport.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2014