Islamabad: A woman was killed and two flight stewards were injured Tuesday night when some unidentified gunmen opened fire on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane arriving from Riyadh at Peshawar’s Bacha Khan airport, a leading Pakistani daily reported.
The PIA Boeing PK-756 with 196 passengers onboard was fired upon while landing at the airport, The Dawn reported, adding that three people were injured of which one 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.
Police and security forces have cordoned off the airport premises and launched a search operation to arrest the culprits behind the incident.
Injured flight stewards, identified as Majid and Ijaz Chaudhry, have been shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
Police officials and PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar have confirmed the incident and the casualties.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman said 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.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Najeebur Rehman said the police have launched a search operation in Pishtakara and the surroundings area. The security forces are also assisting the police in combing the area.
The suspected attack follows a major Taliban assault on Karachi airport earlier this month that killed at least 32 people, including all 10 attackers.
The security was beefed up around the area amidst 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.