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The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing PK-756, with 196 passengers on board, was returning from Riyadh when it was fired upon at Peshawar's Bacha Khan airport.—Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing PK-756, with 196 passengers on board, was returning from Riyadh when it was fired upon at Peshawar's Bacha Khan airport.—Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: Flight operations at Peshawar's Bacha Khan airport resumed on Wednesday after being temporarily suspended following last night's terrorist attack on a landing plane, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

CAA authorities added that the routes leading to the airport were cleared for traffic.

Last night unidentified gunmen attacked the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing PK-756 as it came in to land at Peshawar's Bacha Khan airport, killing a woman and injuring two flight stewards on board.

The PIA Boeing PK-756 had 196 passengers on board, arriving from Riyadh when it was fired upon.

Airline officials said the gunmen had aimed specifically at the highly flammable fuel tank as they sought to blow up the aircraft, as well as the cockpit, to kill the pilot.

“It would have been a disaster had they hit the fuel tank or cockpit,” said a senior Pakistan International Airlines official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to discuss the matter with the press.

The captain of the plane described his frantic efforts to land the aircraft safely as bullets whizzed by.

“I saw several bullets flashing towards the cockpit and fuel tank and tried to avoid them,” the senior PIA official quoted the captain as telling ground staff after landing the airplane.

“The cockpit and fuel tank were safe but eight bullets hit the right side of the plane, near the service door. The second engine, which was close to the fuel tank, was also hit.

The firing injured three people including two flight stewards and a woman, who later succumbed to her wounds.

The plane was hit by six bullets, police said, killing the woman and narrowly missing the captain. At least one bullet struck the plane's engine, they added.

The woman's daughter was sitting next to her when she was shot in the head, PIA official Mohammad Kifayatullah Khan told Reuters.

“When I went inside the plane, I saw the woman lying on the seat and her nine-year-old daughter was crying, 'My mother is dead, my mother is dead',” said Khan.

“All the passengers were panicked. Some of them wanted to get out as soon as possible because they were afraid of fire inside the plane.”

Passengers speak to DawnNews

The army and police personnel conducted a search operation and arrested over 100 suspects.

Security was beefed up on all the routes to airport, additional personnel of security forces were also been posted.

Injured flight stewards, identified as Majid and Ijaz Chaudhry have been shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

Police officials and PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar have confirmed the incident and the casualties.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman told DawnNews that it was difficult to ascertain as to which direction the aircraft was fired upon.

He claimed that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area".

No group claimed responsibility for the incident.

Examine: Karachi airport attack signals alarming tactical shift by Taliban

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Najeebur Rehman said that 12 bullets were fired at the aircraft and they have launched a search operation in Pishtakara and the surroundings area. Security forces are also assisting the police in combing the area.

The attack follows a major Taliban assault on Karachi airport earlier this month that killed at least 32 people including all 10 attackers.

Security was put on high alert around the area amid the Pakistani military's ongoing operation Zarb-i-Azb against militants in North Waziristan Agency, one of the country's seven semi-autonomous tribal agencies next to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of which Peshawar is the capital.

Investigation launched into the attack

Initial investigation carried out by law enforcement agencies in relation to the Peshawar airport attack revealed that the PIA Boeing was attacked by a militant group based in Darra Adamkhel.

Official sources said last night’s search and investigation had led to the conclusion that the attack on the plane came from the semi-autonomous tribal area of Darra Adamkhel though no group has been named so far neither has any responsibility been claimed for the attack.

Law enforcement personnel also arrested about a hundred suspects from the outskirts of the city and investigation against them was underway.

The report also said that firing was carried out with Short Machine Guns (SMGs).

An FIR has not been registered over the attack but flight operations have resumed and the CAA confirmed that the airport was opened.

Eyewitness accounts

Masash Bahadar, a passenger in the PIA flight, said he heard three shots when the aircraft was landing. Suddenly, someone told him that the aeroplane had been attacked.

Sultan Khan, another eyewitness on the flight, said that he was in the front while a lady and a steward at the back were hit and injured.

He said that the passengers heard three shots when they were landing while panic gripped the plane.

The intelligence report said that a woman identified as Maknoon died while two crew members Ijaz and Majid sustained injuries and were subsequently shifted to the Combined Military Hospital.

Previous attacks

Peshawar has frequently come under rocket attacks as miscreants used to fire MBR rockets in the past, some of which even landed on the runway and hit surrounding residential areas.

Rockets were mostly fired from the nearby restive tribal area of Bara or the villages bordering Khyber Agency.

A major attack on the Peshawar airport was launched by Uzbek militants on Dec 15, 2012 during which nine people were killed whereas five militants were also gunned down, who were later identified as foreigners of Uzbek origin.

The landing approach to the Peshawar Airport is over the restive Khyber Agency whereas the landing strip is located on the main Bara road.

Although the airport is heavily guarded from its entrance, the runway and the backyard runs along a five-kilometre road which passes through the Nawe Kalley village to University Town and is not considered secure.

Comments (187) Closed

commentor Jun 25, 2014 12:06am

Sorry i cannot comment until i have full details.

Rev. Eldrick Lal Jun 25, 2014 12:07am

People we need to stop this madness, otherwise no International Airline will fly into Pakistan.

Faisal Jun 25, 2014 12:19am

This was bound to happen.... I am sure Cathay Pacific would be glad that they left Pakistan. Just wait till other airlines will do the same. Good Job Pakistanis... keep it up and in few years there will be nothing left...

Harmony Jun 25, 2014 12:22am

How come there was a gun in the aeroplane coming from Riyadh?

Faisal Jun 25, 2014 12:24am

@Harmony Please re-read.. someone on the ground fired at the plane..

Harmony Jun 25, 2014 12:37am

@Faisal - Says where? I think you need to re-read instead.

rehan Jun 25, 2014 12:43am

According initial reports the woman who was shot dead is a foreigner.

Ajamal Jun 25, 2014 12:49am

Only billions of dollar investment will come to Pakistan, thanks to Nawaz Sharif but no aircraft. Of course, no airline will risk operations under these continuous risks. This could just be a warning from TTP. God forbid, this could have been a missile.

aviator Jun 25, 2014 12:51am

If these incidents occur frequently, airliners will halt their operations into pakistan. Since the approach region is usualy over densely populated areas, itll be impossible to track down these criminals

John Jun 25, 2014 12:51am

They were trained to fire. Unfortunately, the are aiming their guns south of Afghanistan and west of India. We need to verify the IQ of the people who ever considered that the internal and external security of Pakistan will improve by training these squads.

ansh Jun 25, 2014 12:52am

Pls god save innocents

muhibbewatan Jun 25, 2014 12:52am

What kind of security exists (or is it totally absent) at the point of embarkation? People going berserk and indulging in indiscriminate shooting aboard an airplane? What's going on? How did the culprit(s) manage to sneak out of the plane? Pakistan's administrators need to answer the shocked public about the steps it has taken or intend to initiate in security matters for the travelling as well as the general public.

safar shah Jun 25, 2014 12:52am

Some Pakhtoon was cleaning his gun when it went off just a small accident, move on people nothing to see here.

safdar Jun 25, 2014 12:53am

This proves how inefficient our law enforcement agencies are...

mansoor Jun 25, 2014 12:53am

Which is the nearest airport to Faisalabad from India and how long is the road journey? Please help.

Asad Jun 25, 2014 12:53am

Security on high alert! Comprehensive security plan prepared! Extra resources give to the security agencies! All entry routes monitored! ...

HAIDER Jun 25, 2014 12:56am

This airport need to be relocated. PIA ;sharing PAF airbase. Right in the middle of city.

MP Jun 25, 2014 12:59am

How on earth did a weapon managed to get on board?

Aziz Jun 25, 2014 01:01am

@Faisal You must have some inside information because no where int he article it mentions that the firing was from the ground. Also, firing on a plane from ground is not like a drive by shooting you do at a car. You cannot kill people inside a plane by simple firing a bullet at it. Silly!

Farhan Jun 25, 2014 01:02am

Will there be anything left to happen in our country?

sheryar Jun 25, 2014 01:02am

not long before all international airlines stop operating in Pakistan

mo Jun 25, 2014 01:04am

@Faisal Please re-read and point out where it says that....

Baneen Jun 25, 2014 01:05am

This is plainly horrendous. What sort of an alarmingly unpredictable fate is this jet called 'Pakistan' headed into - makes me wonder above all else.

Abdul Karim Jun 25, 2014 01:05am

Once again Airport Security Forces caught out in deep slumber!

Gooch Jun 25, 2014 01:11am

A very close shave for PIA, could have lead to a major incident. It is about time pakistan govt. make it illegal to own a handgun and other offensive weapons. I think there are far too many weapons in the hands of Pakistani population that has lead to every day killings.

Concerned Citizen Jun 25, 2014 01:17am

Shooting at a plane is like throwing stones on a moving lorry, It is not effective. If they had to take down the plane they would have blown it up with an RPG, with the taliban capable of doing so. The sharp shooters knew where the target was seated, one of the 'passenger' on the plane passed these details to the shooters. The target must have been an informer or an undercover agent on his way back to PAK. The passenger list and the intercepted mobile messages of the passengers on the plane will be sufficient to get the Pak intelligence dept to work.

m kay Jun 25, 2014 01:18am

Family fueds have a good cover with this ongoing operation. Tragic loss. Best to hold off on any judgements till more info is available.

Raza Jun 25, 2014 01:19am

Can't the nincompoop government use sensors in the undershoot areas and the areas around the landing strip? Security cameras are so small nowadays that they can be installed all around the runway and the adjoining areas. Next we need a SWAT team to jump into action if an intruder happens to come into those areas.

Mahir Jun 25, 2014 01:20am

@Harmony They fired from the outside, close to the runway.

ad zad Jun 25, 2014 01:24am

May Allah bless Dr Maulana Azad and his follower my grandfather who decided not to move to Pakistan to stay back during partition.

yaqoot Jun 25, 2014 01:27am

"Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman told DawnNews that it was difficult to ascertain as to from where the aircraft was being fired upon. He said that firing incidents like this are usual occurrence in the area" and this guys expects cricket teams to land in planes for test matches, ODI's stay in open fields for 5 days of a test with due protection being provided by Pakistan's security forces. Wow! good bye cricket and another SHAMEFUL incident to say the least.

Harmony Jun 25, 2014 01:28am

@Mahir - Thanks! But there was no mention of this in the article.

ali ahmed Jun 25, 2014 01:29am

He said that firing incidents like this are usual occurrence in the area. very interesting....why no action was taken by KP government to stop this nonsense

baby doll main sone di Jun 25, 2014 01:31am

hahaha pakistan is safe for international cricket.

Raza Khan Jun 25, 2014 01:32am

i live close to the airport. The landing approach ar Runway 35 passes directly over Badaber and Sarband as well as parts of BaraTehsil. All these areas are controlled by the warlord Mangal Bagh whose LI is affiliated to TTP. Here the aircraft is between 800- 1000 feet above ground and directly in reach of small fire arms. The only solution is either to install a VOR DME at other end of runway for landings which is comparatively safe or wipe out Mr Bagh and his disciples from this area. In fact this is a no go area at southwestern border of Peshawar

Nada Jun 25, 2014 01:35am

Even a very stupid person could see that Jets flying and landing at this airport were like sitting ducks, too low and slow to be safe from small arms fire...But still Pakistan Army and Intelligence Agencies are Number 1....! This country is doomed beyond redemption.

Khaleel Jun 25, 2014 01:37am

The next time someone is in a plane and landing in Pakistan they should directly go into emergency landing position or take ones seatbelt off and lie under the seat. Crazy huh.

US CENTCOM Jun 25, 2014 01:38am

This is a cowardly act; firing on a passenger plane as it approached the Peshawar airport for landing. What can be expected from terrorists who take pride in killing innocent women and children? Our hearts and prayers go out to the woman killed and her family. We also send good wishes for those injured in this, yet another, senseless attack. We stand united with Pakistan in these challenging times. We are sure their quest for peace will yield positive results.

Abdul Quddus DET-United States Central Command

Jan Jun 25, 2014 01:38am

We are going very fast to stone age. Polio, organized attacks on international airports, fundamentalism, militancy, kidnapping of locals and foreigners and now attacks on civilian plane. Who will come here in this situation?

Humza Jun 25, 2014 01:40am

Such a horrible memory for that little girl. This is just horrid. What have innocent civilians ever done to anyone?

M. Siddique Jun 25, 2014 01:43am

@Harmony, who said there was a gun inside the plane? Please read carefully.

commentator Jun 25, 2014 01:51am

Looks like most inhuman act by foreigners who are not human.

Tariq khan Jun 25, 2014 01:52am

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhe rajiuun sister passed away! Another sad incident if terrorism at the airport! Watching from bradford u.k our hearts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters! May allah give them sabber at this time ameen!

sara ally qureshi Jun 25, 2014 01:57am

how come firing from below hits a woman in the head.

Rizwan Jun 25, 2014 01:58am

Correction: The steward's name is not Ijaz Chaudhry Its Ijaz Afridi who is wounded and is in operation theatre at the moment. Please remember him in your Dua's.

Imran A. Jun 25, 2014 01:58am

I think they should close Peshawar Airport and anyone coming from Peshawar should get an approval to leave the city.

jung Jun 25, 2014 02:03am

There will some retaliation for the action by Pak Army against militants.

Devendra Sharma Jun 25, 2014 02:15am

Neither ballots nor bullets is the solution of the problem. Some one has to change the mind set of these people and education is the only way to bring these changes.Army can do as many operations as they can but at the end of the day the end result will be a big zero.We have to stop blaming each other and think collectively what has to be done to stop these mindless actions of certain people.

karim Jun 25, 2014 02:19am

This new strategy by militants will be followed world over and will have devastating effect on the economy and life of people.

Fawad Jun 25, 2014 02:21am

Stupid PTI government, they know the situation very thoroughly now. Recently there was an attack in Karachi. Still there is no proper security arrangement. People are getting fedup of Imran Khan's excuses. Instead of blaming the federal government for everything, it is about time he puts his own house in order.

Rizwan Jun 25, 2014 02:22am

@safar shah. Someone died and some are seriously injured.

Dr. Sehar Khan Jun 25, 2014 02:27am

Shame On Us... Thank God It is a Islamic Republic of Pakistan...Little girl sitting with her mom, happy that she is going to land and see her family and this, omg. What a tragedy, what a loss...Shame on you momino, kuch sharam karo.

Walid jumbLatt Jun 25, 2014 02:33am

Shootings at Karachi airport 38 DeaD ....... Now firing at a plane in Peshawar imagine if it wud have crashed into the terminal or into another aircraft .... The carnage ......what's wrong with you people .inocent women shot dead next to her young daughter ........reaL sad

vinit Jun 25, 2014 02:39am

@Jan chinese :-)

Pragmatist Jun 25, 2014 02:42am

I thought security in and around the airports was elevated to very high after the Karachi incident. Peshawar airport due to its proximity to the center of terrorists den should have been provided with particularly high vigilance. The terrorists can harm aircraft not only on the tarmac but while landing and takeoff as well. The planes could also be shot down with a missile. I know its not an easy task to close all the loop holes but the government should not relax at all. Let's hope after our soldiers wipe out the terrorism we will be once again live in peace. Amen!

Mahmood Jun 25, 2014 02:47am

How I will stay in my flight to Karachi this coming weekend..? very scary !

Saad Zafar Jun 25, 2014 02:55am

@baby doll main sone di

A woman died next to her child and you think this is a laughing matter?

Anup Jun 25, 2014 02:58am

Innocent person got killed, very unfortunate for her 9 year old daughter to see this. RIP to the woman and hope those culprits are punished asap.

Munz Jun 25, 2014 03:06am

Might as well call this country a zoo since it has so many animals...

SG Jun 25, 2014 03:08am

I thought the firing took place from outside when the plane was trying to land...

Qamar Jun 25, 2014 03:11am

My worst fears have come true. Looking at un-regulated, illegal settlements very close to the airports in all major cities of Pakistan, I was always afraid that aircraft will come under attack during landing/take-off.

The criminal politicians and bureaucrats profited from these settlements. Now we are getting very close to international airlines refusing to fly to Pakistan.

Imran Khan Jun 25, 2014 03:13am

Hearing the incident Imran Khan reiterated that people are just trying to defend their families and kids from american drone. Taliban are nice people and its american shooting at PIA

mjk Jun 25, 2014 03:15am

Terrorists are sending warning to all airlines, Europeans & other far eastern airlines have already stopped operation in Pakistan. It leaves mid eastern air lines. Hope they continue flying into Pak air ports.

Junaid Jun 25, 2014 03:16am

Look at this KPK PTI minister's statement ." He said that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area". This shameful for any minister. What you think ? He should also resigned for making this statement that makes world airlines worried about even flying in and out of country airports

Mohammad Naseem Jun 25, 2014 03:22am

The KP information minister said that " firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area". Are you serious and you do not do anything to prevent these. What a country, what a sorry bunch of public servants.

jaggy Jun 25, 2014 03:28am

whenever i open the Dawn website, i mentally prepare myself, for some sad event happening in Pakistan. i feel sorry for the innocent people who suffer. God Bless.

Uxman Jun 25, 2014 03:29am

When terrorists attacked Khi air port IK was blaming govt not providing proper security , where is ik now? What happened to the security of peshawar air port? How did the terrorists got in??

MD Jun 25, 2014 03:30am

@commentor HAHAHA you cant comment because need full detail? Don't bother because no one cares. Failed state

vik3ings Jun 25, 2014 03:40am

@Devendra Sharma what do you suggest ?

ali Jun 25, 2014 03:42am

@muhibbewatan sorry mate, pakistanis security is busy following land cruisers and having fresh air behind vigos and acting like they own this place :)

Shah Jun 25, 2014 03:48am

Eliminate ALL terrorists and for God sake seal the Afghan border as soon as possible!!!

Faisal Jun 25, 2014 03:55am

@safar shah Tell that to the girl who lost her mother... what a character...shows the current mentality in the general population...

Jawwad Jun 25, 2014 03:58am

This should be final straw. I don't expect anymore international flights coming to land of the Paks and finally I can tell my dad to back and not insist on sending my children to Pakistan. Thank you Pakistan. You and I are just about done now.

M. Mushtaq Ahmed Jun 25, 2014 03:59am

Pak army, kill every terrorist you find.

Jawwad Jun 25, 2014 03:59am

@Harmony they shot from outside the plane. Next we will hear a crash news. Just wait.

Faisal Jun 25, 2014 03:59am

@Aziz Have you seen a plane land? Do you know the speed of a plane during landing vs speed of a bullet? Also, the planes these days are made of composite materials and are not bullet proof. Small arms fire can easily penetrate the fuselage.

omer khan shaheen Jun 25, 2014 04:06am

Any one would think, All Airport and it's surrounding areas require cleanup from foreigners. Every house near by and on path requires a thorough search, as well as a background check of it's residents. Any one who does not belong there (Local and foreign terrorist) needs to be sent where they belong i.e.(Behind bars for quick justice)!

Chakra Gaye ? Jun 25, 2014 04:10am

Very very sad, this is inhumane ..... Do you realize how little it takes for these fanatics to equal the score !

T. M. Reddy Jun 25, 2014 04:19am

There are a few Pakistan laws that are in favor of terrorists to operate their motives....

malik Jun 25, 2014 04:23am

@Faisal we will ride donkeys and horses.

Faisal Jun 25, 2014 04:27am

@Shah Also please seal the Indian border.... Thank you very much...

khalid sheikh Jun 25, 2014 04:28am

The Pakistan Govt., should wipe out the name of Taliban from Pakistan

umair Jun 25, 2014 04:43am

The article states " it was fired upon."

Omar Jun 25, 2014 04:47am

when will the heads roll... i mean people who are responsible for security should be called out and put in jail FOR LIFE. I am begining to wonder whether the enemy taliban is much more smarter than these idiots are to tally clueless about securing sensitive areas like airports.

Ali Jun 25, 2014 04:49am

The captain announces. Please return to your seat , put your seat in upright position , fold the table in front of you and fasten your seat belts , its time for Landing.......No its time for Firing.... Thank you people of Pakistan

chao Jun 25, 2014 04:56am

seems work of mercenaries available in plenty in this area ready to do mass kiling on contract. some people call them taliban.

Dennis Jun 25, 2014 05:04am

You don't need a missile or inside gunman to cause havok with air travel. The weapon could be no more than an AK-47 which is lethal at 1000 meters even through an airliners aluminum/composite skin which is only 1/8 inch thick not counting insulation and the inside plastic liner. Accuracy is generally considered to fall off beyond 300 meters in full auto and 400 meters in single shot mode. But these miscreants clearly were not aiming at a single person. They could hardly avoid make numerous random hits on a big airliner. There is no easy defense against this. And terrorists care little if they get caught. You could install a high tech audio analysis system that can pinpoint the source of gunfire and flood the area with police but the tragic harm these monsters feed on will have already been done.

Random stranger Jun 25, 2014 05:14am

Just snatch AK-47s from everyone. This might as well be a case of "hawai firing" which some people do to appear macho to others. Only handguns and shotguns should be allowed for self defense to people. Get rid of these AK-47s and machine guns, which are a legacy of Afghan war.

Anjum Arshi Jun 25, 2014 05:18am

"Minister Shah Farman told DawnNews that it was difficult to ascertain as to which direction the aircraft was fired upon. He said that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area"." And that is where the responsibility of the KPK government begins and ends. Nonetheless, it is important to have a politics of confrontation with the federal government and spread anarchy in the country. Great parties have KPK people elected to rule them!

Muhammad Rizwan Jun 25, 2014 05:18am

@Aziz well the report says that the plane was fired upon. I guess this means firing was from the ground.

Omar Jun 25, 2014 05:37am

@MP How on earth can someone not get a clear picture from this article about the incident.Let me take a shot ( no pun intended) at this; 1.Plane about to land. 2.Someone from outside fires at the plane . 3.Bullets penetrate the plane and injure and kill passengers. 4.Security put on high alert,PM takes notice of the issue and condemns the attack,demands report about the incident in two days, vows to take fight to the militants,army declares that defense of Pakistan is foolproof( pun intended),etc etc etc ...just usual jibberish. Hope this helps!

J.B Jun 25, 2014 05:41am

@Mahmood angrazee baree tight likhtay ho mian,LOL

IKE Jun 25, 2014 05:43am

This maybe a random firing incident. It is usual for this area. Problem is that most of the Airports are now sandwiched in the highly populated and commercial areas. Airports do not have area around them. Lack of planning resulted in housing next to the runway. Same is the issue with Islamabad Airport. This may not be intentional.

Omar Jun 25, 2014 05:43am

@HAIDER What else will we give up in the name of security. Where are the intelligence agencies of Pakistan whose job is ti infiltrate and decimate these terrorists.

Omar Jun 25, 2014 05:45am

@Devendra Sharma Education & population control, two things which Pakistan should have focussed on long time ago.

Jan Jun 25, 2014 05:52am

I remember, I was a little child when (late) Khan Abdul Wali Khan said in a public rally " Zia ul Haq is sitting in explosives and think he will destroy Afghanistan but he don't know he is playing with fire and someday his own wings will blown this fire". Now we can see our wrong policies results. God save Pakistan

Shani Jun 25, 2014 05:57am

Hey guys, damn cant you understand, it says fired upon which in it self means that it was hit from outside and not inside. Why would they search the adjoining areas after this incident if the incident took place inside the craft. Regards Shani PhD Mass Communication, University of Cambridge.

catherine Jun 25, 2014 05:57am

@aviator It shouldn't have happened even one time.

Sahil Jun 25, 2014 06:06am

Faisal seems right. Read this 'Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman told DawnNews that it was difficult to ascertain as to which direction the aircraft was fired upon.'

Devendra Sharma Jun 25, 2014 06:14am

@vik3ings just to start I think.. 1) don't mix religion with the politics.2) Bring youth of the country under one umbrella for a single point agenda and that is "Pakistan First". I know what I am suggesting is difficult but not impossible.

Bilal Jun 25, 2014 06:24am

@Harmony according to the eye witness's a/c.. he went inside the plane and the woman was lying on the seat with a bullet.. so yeah youre right, it all happened from inside the aircraft.. thats what ive gathered,,

Jawwad Saeed Jun 25, 2014 06:24am

@Qamar- Absolutely spot on analysis.

M. Saeed Awan Jun 25, 2014 06:30am

Every matter in Pakistan can be solved if Qadri, Imran and Altaf Hussain stop yelling.

waseq Jun 25, 2014 06:30am

All those who are saying there is no mention that someone fired on the outside... i just wanna say to them "Lolzzzzz" so many fools who cannot simply understand what is written in plain English

Taj wazir Jun 25, 2014 06:30am

Every single passenger's cell phone including PIA crew must be confiscated by airport security and must be checked all the phone calls history and text messages before they return the phones to passengers and crew. Chances are they will find some clues to work on. We must wake up and stay alert 24/7 across the nation.

Gulbagh Singh Jun 25, 2014 06:44am

Why don't you blame India or RAW and move on? This will be very easy.

NORI Jun 25, 2014 06:53am

Terrorists are innovating on how to cause mass destruction. Had the bullets hit the captain and co-pilot in cockpit, it would have been disastrous accident. Now Pakistanis have the taste of those mujaheddin trained for "strategic depth"(read Kashmir and Afghanistan) !!!

Shafqat mir Jun 25, 2014 07:01am

@Dr. Sehar Khan Any momin in Pakistan.

Omar Jun 25, 2014 07:11am

Need to disarm the population. Only the police and army should have guns. Anyone else carrying gun should be arrested. Those who have done should be caught. They should be ashamed of themselves for killing an innocent person.

j singh Jun 25, 2014 07:15am

Got up early to check football results..but the top news headlines was on pakistan. Surprised...No Indian made gun or antibiotics found.Best part is someone saying- " shooting in this part is a common occurence". Hello sir- what is the image you are sending to the entire world.Next statement may be- killing is a common occurence in this part of world.Easiest thing in the world is to close the eyes and blame others. Sad really sad its happening on a regular basis.Hope the nation comes out strongly to fulfill the dreams of Jinnah.

Sohail Jun 25, 2014 07:18am

This is ridiculous to learn that some areas near the airport are controlled by a warlord and that's where the fire came from.

When will we establish rule of law in out big cities at the least ?

I am waiting for government statement, i home that don't blame it again on a "foreign hand".

Nick Jun 25, 2014 07:22am

@Taj wazir
Instead, please educate all about life.

Nick Jun 25, 2014 07:23am

No value for life?

Saiyed zaidi Jun 25, 2014 07:23am

This calls for more drone strikes more military operations to flush out these unwanted foreign fighters who have made a Pakistan a surrogate home, and please pakistan Goverment please stop putting new shoelaces on an old shoe and concentrate on getting rid of this pariah before walking around with a $ sign in your eyes.Make pakistan sterile and all the good things will follow.

AJamal Jun 25, 2014 07:25am

Years of criminal negligence allowing construction around airports either legally by governments to make money or by illegal squatters grabbing land and governments allowing them for political consideration. This is true for Karachi as well. Now is the time to face consequences which are going to be very very painful. My sympathies with the victims.

khan Jun 25, 2014 07:30am

Soon, All planes will stop landing at Pakistan's airport. Once they reach the airspace above airport at 10,000 feet, they will start dropping passengers with parachutes, and fly the planes back to their country. At this rate PIA will not have any planes left.

Mohammad Kumbo Jun 25, 2014 07:34am

He (Farman) said that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area". If it's "a usual occurrence" then how come nobody has been apprehended till date.

James Cameron Jun 25, 2014 07:46am

The phrase "the plane was hit by six bullets" implies that the shots came from outside the plane. Additionally it states that one of the engines was hit. Why would anyone inside the plane shoot at an engine outside the plane. This was caused by people outside the plane intending to stop air traffic in and out of Pakistan.

Najma Jun 25, 2014 07:58am

Please find your own security during your travel to Pakistan. If you can avoid Pakistan travel then please do so unless you want to die.

Rajab Ali Jun 25, 2014 08:02am

Terrorism, all over. This is a natural outcome when wrongs become rights.

Rauf Jun 25, 2014 08:11am

@Concerned Citizen nice conspiracy theory, blessed to be ignorant, that's what Pakistanis apr

zahid ansar Jun 25, 2014 08:14am

@Rev. Eldrick Lal those who have done it do not care. They are pursuing the policy of isolating Pakistan from the rest of the world.

citizen Jun 25, 2014 08:26am

To save the image of the counry all international flights must land only in PAF air bases...

Yousuf Jun 25, 2014 08:38am

It is yet again Pakistani Government of Nawaz has failed to protect lives of passengers and it may result in international flight operators reconsider cancelling their schedules until governance is visible in Pakistan. The forced resignation of Sanaullah was an attempt to diffuse tension, but it is time real people took responsibility with Defence Secretary Khawaja Asif tendering resignation. Ifsuch a precedent is set, good governance follows.

Kamal Jun 25, 2014 08:42am

READ: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman told DawnNews that it was difficult to ascertain as to which direction the aircraft was fired upon. He said that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area".

"a usual occurrence in the area"? Imagine returning home...yeah killed by some bullets...a usual happening here.


Sunil Jun 25, 2014 08:45am

With Karachi airport attack incident, yet it seems there was lax of security at Peshawar airport.

astara Jun 25, 2014 08:59am

@Harmony : are you sure you have read it again?? " The plane was hit by six bullets, police said, killing the woman and narrowly missing the captain. At least one bullet struck the plane's engine, they added." it is simply not possible to shoot inside the plane, hit through the steel floor, steel body, and pierce through outer engine

"Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman told DawnNews that it was difficult to ascertain as to which direction the aircraft was fired upon. He said that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area". self explaining....

khalid sheikh Jun 25, 2014 09:09am

why cant the Govt.,of Pakistan put Intel on shahidullah shahid and mullah Fazlullah and take them out and finish the chapter once and for all.

TM Jun 25, 2014 09:11am


AK Jun 25, 2014 09:12am

@citizen you are the man! Why not all the passengers do worship to the real culprits.

Gautham Jun 25, 2014 09:19am

@Aziz , @Harmony and others: the question you must be asking is not to Faisal but to Dawn - to make this paper readable by 3rd standard students. You must be really intelligent to think somebody sitting inside the plane can fire at the engine, engine which is outside the body of the plane. You probably are still figuring out why the police cordoned the nearby areas outside airport when the culprit was inside the plane, right? I know. You also have read the statement ..."Najeebur Rehman said that 12 bullets were fired at the aircraft.." without understanding the difference between 'at the aircraft' and 'from the aircraft', right? I know.

Areebah Shahid Jun 25, 2014 09:31am

@Harmony Faisal is right, the firing took place from the ground, not from inside the plane.

Ankush Gaur Jun 25, 2014 09:34am

Ab to uth jao neend se. Ab bhi kuch nahi karoge toh kuch nahi bachega.

Be strict with your citizens. Be ruthless with the terrorists. And know the difference between the two.

That's the only way you can come out of this quagmire. Or else be prepared to go down.

Stop it while you can.

Mahendra Jun 25, 2014 09:36am

Pakistan is a dangerous nation for any business to survive. This incident will further isolate pakistan from the international community and all major international carriers will have a relook on their policy of flying to pakistan....

Rehan Jun 25, 2014 09:56am

People of surrounding areas are responsible to allow the firers for this madness. They could have reported / informed the police if unable to stop them.

w. Jun 25, 2014 09:56am

Federal Govt issue stern warnings to both KP and Sind govt. any more breach of security around airports - and provincial govts dissolved and for six months governor rule imposed.. These intruders came to the airport from the city -- the fire at the airport was initiated from outside the parameters of the airport. Imran Khan should resign now and KP govt too. how come fire came from outside the airport.. Their needs to few kilometer around the airport barren land -- out of range of the small fire arms -- than only aircrafts remain safe .. secure the parameters ..with out human habitation around the airports

ali Jun 25, 2014 09:57am

@Raza Khan The army has done so many operation in the area against mangal bagh (who used to be a bus conductor , if i am not wrong) . Now i dont undesrtand that is this man really very strong ..stronger than pak army that after so many operations he still maintains his force .

Last Wordj Jun 25, 2014 10:37am

@Raza Khan Being a local, you are fully aware of places occupied by Taliban and their supporting elements. It is extremely hard to understand that why terrorists and their sleeper cells in cities and its close vicinities are not being targeted by security forces simultaneously with the on-going operation in NW. Such attacks are bound to happen in other cities like Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi and even Lahore if their hideouts are not busted with immediate effect. The policy of fire-fighting as and when attacks take place shows poor strategy adopted by the establishment and local police which needs to reviewed if the militancy is to be totally eliminated in Pakistan. This is the time for intelligence agencies to provide actionable inputs to the security forces and police to carry out raids in cities at militants hideouts to stop further attacks on soft targets and avoid civilian casualties.. .

N K Ali Jun 25, 2014 10:51am

Where is NACTA? Yes, where is NACTA? Suppose, the militants fired an anti-aircraft missile? This is tragic and heart rending. Right from 2001 to date, why has Pakistan not established itself as a responsible and mature state? Because, we allow a stupid tribal cum biradari system that pre-dates common sense, to govern our actions through 'jirgas.' Pakistan needs a NEW CONSTITUTION and ridding itself of the PMLN and PPP. Salams

saad Jun 25, 2014 10:58am

We should not cover this type of news as it will cause problems for Pakistan.

Merchant Jun 25, 2014 11:09am

Where will a all this stop!! Any government with even a shred of snae of duty would have resigned but in Pakistan politicians cling to power no matter what happens to the country.

Irfan Jun 25, 2014 11:20am

How this is happened, Airport already on Red Alert, are security personals doing their duties properly.

Ashraf Mirza (USA) Jun 25, 2014 11:33am

Very SAD to hear . My heart goes out to victims and their family. It;s getting worse, We Pakistani live outside Pakistan. Now we have to think twice before even we can plan to visit family members...VERY SAD. May Allah help Pakistan and people of Pakistan.

paki Jun 25, 2014 11:41am

@Farhan Attacks like 9/11..

sanjeev Jun 25, 2014 11:49am

The wing span of a 777 aircraft is 197 ft,the aircraft was on the runway at high speed that means the shooter must have been atleast 100ft away.The bullets penetrated the aircraft and killed people.Can anybody comment on the type of gun they were using? cCan a AK47 do this or you reqire something more powerful?

Riz Jun 25, 2014 11:52am

This is terribly sad news. A mother killed next to her child. We are in a war zone and this is our war! There should be a wide and strict security perimeter around the ariport and people should be relocated from there at government's expense!

Zahid Jun 25, 2014 11:54am

Am i reading correct "He claimed that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area"."

m harith Jun 25, 2014 11:55am

@muhibbewatan someone fired from the gorund and not from inside the aircraft.

candy Jun 25, 2014 11:55am

@muhibbewatan the plane was shot from the ground when it was 3 nautical miles away from the runway ..the whole bust was fired which damaged one of tge engines..They were not hijackkers on board.

Riz Jun 25, 2014 11:55am

Those who are doing business in Pakistan are very happy with the high profits and little competition because outsiders are too scared to venture here! They will not be affected by such incidents as such incidents further entrench their long term advantage of doing business in Pakistan.

Muhammad Jun 25, 2014 12:33pm

A daring attempt which shows Pakistanis how entrenched and bold the Taliban are in this country. I am sure this will lead to many foreign airlines re-assessing their operations in Pakistan.

Zakir Jun 25, 2014 12:55pm

I have no words to say when am reading nine year old daughter of a dead woman sitting next to her crying my mother is dead my mother is dead.... Ya Allah....

Saad Jun 25, 2014 01:09pm

This is height of insanity, I just can't figure out what's wrong with our country and people.

Akram Jun 25, 2014 01:10pm

@ad zad

how does it feel to call your Leader Modi?

Haroon Jun 25, 2014 01:32pm

Outside Pakistan. Cant describe the embarassment being faced since morning during meetings with foreigners

Azad Jun 25, 2014 01:36pm

@ad zad Rightly Said!!!!!!!!!!!

Raj Jun 25, 2014 01:57pm

@safar shah - A woman died and a 9 year child becomes an orphan...and you are casually saying to move on!!!!!!!

Taimoor Khan Jun 25, 2014 02:13pm

There will be no peace in Pakistan until and unless our civil and military leadership understand this basic fact that we are not dealing with some rag tag Taliban but in reality there are enemy nations behind these mercenaries. There is no point in doing these operations when these enemy states are not dealt with iron fist at the same time.

Khalid Jun 25, 2014 02:13pm

What a shining example of incompetency. Karachi airport was attacked only a few weeks ago and I would have thought that any country would have beefed up security of the airports within hours. Incomptetent, unwilling and people without brains are responsible for the security of the country.

Malikpur Janderbari Abbottabad Jun 25, 2014 02:33pm

Enjoy naya Pakistan in KPK, now the airport and international flights are not safe.....well done PTI and Imran Khan

Akhter Jun 25, 2014 02:38pm

No place is safe now in Pakistan. This is total failure of security agencies. We are heading towards total disaster.

TM Jun 25, 2014 02:48pm

@sanjeev As per initial reports short machine guns were used.

TM Jun 25, 2014 02:48pm

@sanjeev As per initial reports short machine guns were used.

Qaim Jun 25, 2014 02:51pm

What so ever we will cooperate the govt to carry on zarbe azb with full zeal and vigour .

rudra Jun 25, 2014 02:52pm

Pakistan is sinking deeper and deeper each day. Jinnah's vision of pakistan has not fructified

waheedsaddal Jun 25, 2014 03:37pm

what so ever our government is doing let them do it they are all Pakistani and they are not from any other country we must have to give them full support. then you will see the benefits of your support .

RR Jun 25, 2014 04:09pm

@Harmony Darra adam khel

irshad Jun 25, 2014 04:24pm

Some body should commend the Pilot who did not loose his nerves and landed the Aircraft with precision in safety.

Seedoo Jun 25, 2014 04:42pm

I have said this before on Dawn. It is only a matter of time before someone takes out a landing plane or one taking off with a shoulder fired missile. These terrorists have such weapons. It would not be a surprise to me.

sandeep Jun 25, 2014 05:20pm

may God save all innocent peoples in pakistan.

Syed Rizvi Jun 25, 2014 06:06pm

I'm just speechless.Need Martial law.

concerned citizen Jun 25, 2014 06:55pm

@Rauf I agree but have the benefit of doubt,Firstly,The six bullets were fired towards the business class section of the plane, because it must have been seating someone important. Secondly, militants used SMGs because it has greater effective range and is capable of penetrating ballistic helmets and body armor sufficient to get through the body of the plane(they knew which gun to use!). Thirdly, I am sure that the Peshawar airport would have taken sufficient measures to secure the runway considering the airport has been attacked in the past. Security at all major airports were tightened following the recent Karachi attack, but they still attacked, because they were desperate to hit the target. Like I mentioned in my earlier comment, It was either a desperate attack by the sharp shooters(militants) to kill a specific target on the plane or the militants got drunk and decided to have fun shooting at a plane. In any case, the larger question is, how can the security at an international airport be so hapless?

Mandar Jun 25, 2014 07:26pm

He claimed that firing incidents like this are "a usual occurrence in the area". Good luck Pakistan.

Ikram Jun 25, 2014 07:27pm

How can passengers hear gun shots when the plane is landing, the engine noise is way too loud. For anyone claiming to hear gun shots, the shots had to be fired at extremely close range, like 5 feet away.

Razi Khan Jun 25, 2014 08:38pm

we have seen several attacks on civilian and military airports in Pakistan, are these airports not monitored by security agencies by short circuit cameras?

Shahid Jun 25, 2014 09:08pm

CAN YOU IMAGINE vulnerability of airports like Bahawalpur, Multan and Nawabshah where there is no security arrangements other than a few ASF jawans. Just imagine that the terrorists attack one of the smaller airports and take over a PIA plane only to crash it at a prominent place. Just imagine the international impact of it.

Harinder Singh Randhawa Jun 25, 2014 10:26pm

@mansoor Will be Amritsar Airport . About 3 hours Drive I suppose . You are most welcome

Aziz Jun 25, 2014 11:28pm

@Faisal Not only have I seen a plane land, I have actually landed a plane. The speed is around 105 - 140 knots depending on the type of plane it is. In this instance, my guess would be around 120 knots which is around 140 mph or around 225 km/h. Try to shoot at a plane The plane windows are made of double plane plastic and cannot be broken easily.

For others who are criticizing lack of understanding of English Language...please note that the article has been updated since my initial comment. Originally the article said that the firing was "on" the plane and not "at" the plane. I hope you understand the difference.

@Gautham is right. Dawn should have done a better job at reporting.

Now the article is a little bit clearer but still many questions need to be answered by concerned authorities.

Meganne Jun 26, 2014 01:48am

@Imran A. Now I think you have hit the right spot!

Sonny Afridi Jun 26, 2014 02:22am

So now they are firing on helpless civilian aircrafts loaded with women, men and children civilians. How brave of these cowards. I feel so good every time I hear the Army, FC and other forces send these terrorists back to their Creator.

Noor Jun 26, 2014 07:39am

Why don't they encircle the Taliban area first blocking all routes for escape and then drop a nuclear bomb only big enough to destroy that area ?

Valiya Jun 26, 2014 01:28pm

@Taimoor Khan Do Mr. Khan who is stopping you but if there is any. The real enemy is/was in your backyard fed by your establishment but now started biting the masters also for obvious reason.

Pakistani Jun 26, 2014 02:51pm

@Haroon Instead of being embarrassed, why not try to be proud and tell them that Pakistani nation is paying with its blood so the whole world can be safe?

Yawar Jun 27, 2014 06:10am

As TTP and their allies get more and more desperate they will try and increase their attacks on innocent civilians and will do whatever they can to hurt the economy of Pakistan. Our security forces cannot fight TTP and its allies alone. I hope the people who saw this happening and who know about terrorists living among them have the courage to step forward and provide the information to our security forces so that this menace can be rooted out once and for all.

whimsical Jun 27, 2014 11:18am

@Harmony , I don't think you can shoot at the fuel tank and the engine from the insides of an aircraft , right ? You got to be outside while doing so .

AVM Polpot Jun 27, 2014 03:20pm

Airlines that hv suspended Flights to Peshawar +++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1. Emirates 2.Etihad 3. Kuwait Airways 4. Qatar Airways 5.Saudia.

Moby Jun 28, 2014 01:37am

The captain saw bullets whizzing by?