Militants Try To Blow Up Plane in Pakistan

A few gunmen sat waiting patiently in an area close to airport in Peshawar and as soon as the plane approached, they fired dozens of bullets in the night sky, targeted at the plane. The plane, Airbus 310 had 178 passengers on it and was going from Saudia Arabia to its destination. The plane was forced to land in Peshawar, Pakistan because a woman died and three members of the crew were injured even though only eight bullets, in total hit the plane. This incident occurred on Tuesday night. A few officials said that the gunmen had tried to shoot at the fuel tank which would lead to the whole plane blowing up. Not only was the fuel tank targeted but the cockpit as well so that the pilot could be killed or injured.

An unidentified official said that a disaster would have struck if the gunmen has, God forbid, been successful in hitting the fuel tank or if the bullet aimed at the pilot had been accurate. The official refused to be named because he did not have the authority to communicate with the reporters. So far this was the third attempt of violence made to harm the airports in Pakistan as the Taliban rebellion continues to increase.

On June 8, the Taliban militants entered Karachi’s busiest airport and started a shooting spree. This led to the Pakistan Army conducting air strikes and search operations in tribal areas which are considered to be hideouts for the Taliban. The second event was as such that when Tahir Ul Qadri, and anti- government leader was travelling in a plane to Islamabad but the flight was made to land in Lahore. This caused the airlines to put a life time ban on Qadri and also raised a conflict between his supporters and the police.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, no flights were to fly but, flights were resumed on Wednesday. International flights, however, remain suspended. A CAA official said that he was sure that the International flights would not dare take the risk to land in Peshawar. The Mashukel and Badhber areas near Peshawar are said to be home to many Taliban militants and unsurprisingly, the bullets were fired on the plane by gunmen waiting in those areas only. Another security official was confused and could not understand how the bullets were able to enter the plane since, the plane was quite strong and could withstand pressure at a height of 36000 feet.

The weapons used by the militants have not been identified yet because the bullets are larger than the ones used in an AK-47, a weapon which is mainly used by Taliban. The captain of the aircraft explained that when he saw bullets targeted straight at the fuel tank and the cockpit, he had tried his best to ensure that they did not hit. He was able to protect the cockpit and the fuel tank. But, another engine near the fuel tank had been hit and so had the right side of the plane.