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Rediff.com  » News » PHOTOS: The deadliest terror attacks at airports

PHOTOS: The deadliest terror attacks at airports

June 09, 2014 15:44 IST

Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan

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Hours after the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan witnessed a terror attack, Rediff.com brings you some of the deadliest attacks at airports, which have left several dead and hundreds injured. 

Heavily armed militants attacked Pakistan’s busiest airport in Karachi in which at least 28 persons, including 12 terrorists, were killed even as the military mounted another operation amid reports of fresh firing.

Explosions and gunfire rang out as the attackers wearing military uniforms and suicide vests, and armed with grenades and rocket launchers attacked the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Twelve hours after the attack began, security forces announced they had cleared the airport of the militants.

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Image: A gunman stands guard as smoke billows from Jinnah International airport.
Photographs: Athar Hussain/Reuters

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Domodedovo Airport, Moscow

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A suicide bomber killed at least 35 people at Russia’s busiest airport, Domodedovo airport, on January 24, 2011. The bombing killed at least 37 people and injured some 180. The blast occurred at the international arrivals section of DomodedovoAirport.

The attack was the act of a suicide bomber who stuffed a homemade bomb with small metal objects to make it more deadly.

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Image: A woman cries as her family relative was injured in the airport attack.
Photographs: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

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PNS Mehran air base

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The Pakistani Taliban attacked a naval airbase in the city of Karachi on 22 May 2011 sparking an hour-long battle in which several people were killed and at least two naval aircraft were destroyed. Fifteen members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan stormed the three hangars housing aircraft at the Mehran naval aviation base. They used rocket-propelled grenades to damage and destroy several warplanes. In the course of the event, 15 attackers killed 18 military personnel and wounded 16 in a sophisticated terrorist attack.

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Image: One of the aircraft at the Mehran naval aviation base after troops ended operations against militants in Karachi.
Photographs: Athar Hussain/Reuters

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Glasgow Airport

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On Saturday, June 30, 2007, the Glasgow International Airport witnessed a terror attack when two men rammed a petrol-filled, four-wheel-drive vehicle into the airport. It was the first terror attack to take place in Scotland since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. The car’s driver was severely injured in the ensuing fire and five members of the public were also injured, although none were seriously harmed.

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Image: Officials survey the scene where the car crashed into the airport.
Photographs: Mark Runnacles/Reuters

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Madrid-Barajas Airport

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On December 30 2006,  a van bomb exploded in the Terminal 4 parking area at the Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain, killing two and injuring 52. Later, the Basque nationalist and separatist organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Image: Smoke billows from the airport after a van bomb exploded in the parking area.
Photographs: Arturo Rodriguez Castillo/Getty Images

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Los Angeles Airport

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A lone terrorist gunman approached the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles International Airport in 2002, pulled out two pistols and started shooting at the 90 passengers standing in the line. Three people died in the attack.

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Image: A tourist takes a photo of the ticket counter where the terrorist had pulled out two pistols and open fired on the passengers.
Photographs: Adrees Latif/Reuters

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Bandaranaike Airport, Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan rebels launched one of their boldest and most damaging attacks in July 2001 when 14 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Black Tiger suicide squad infiltrated Katunayake air base and using   suicide bombers, mortars, guns and explosives, destroyed eight military and five passenger aircraft. Eight Tigers and three air force officers died in the battle at the air base. The six remaining LTTE members then crossed the runway to nearby Bandaranaike Airport. Using their weapons, they began blowing up civilian aircraft, which were all empty.

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Image: Planes get ready to take off at the Bandaranaike Airport.
Photographs: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Reuters

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Rome and Vienna airports

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Terrorists hurling hand grenades and firing Soviet-made assault rifles turned Christmas-decorated airports in Vienna and Rome into scenes of carnage leaving 16 people dead and 117 wounded on December 27, 1985.  Gunmen opened fire on passengers queuing to check-in luggage at departure desks for Israel's national airline, El Al.

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Image: A tourist yawns as he waits for his flight at the Vienna airport. The airport witnessed a gruesome terror attack in 1985, which killed 16 people.
Photographs: Leonhard Foege/Reuters

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Heathrow Airport

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On 20 April 1984, a bomb exploded in the baggage area of Terminal 2 at London Heathrow Airport. The bomb exploded, as 60 people were inside the baggage area. The blast injured 22, one seriously.

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Image: A security guard stands at the entrance of the Heathrow airport in London. Security was beefed up after the terror attack.
Photographs: Steve Parsons/Getty Images

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Esenboga International Airport, Turkey

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On August 7, 1982 members of the Pierre Gulumian commando group from the Armenian militant organisation ASALA launched an attack at the Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, Turkey. The attack killed nine people and injured 72 others. The attack was carried out by Zohrab Sarkissian and Levon Ekmekjian (Ekmekdjian, Ekmekçiyan), who exploded a bomb in the middle of the crowded check-in area at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, and then opened fire with sub-machine guns on passport-control officers and passengers.

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Image: Cargo is loaded on to a plane at the Esenbo?a International Airport.
Photographs: Reuters

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Entebbe Airport, Uganda

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Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces at EntebbeAirport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, the an Air France plane carrying with 248 passengers was hijacked, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells, and flown to Entebbe. They then demanded that Israel release 53 convicted terrorists. In an operation to release the hostages, 100 commandos stormed the airport and released 102 hostages. 


Image: Hostages are reunited with their family members after the Israeli forces secured their release.
Photographs: Getty Images

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