Peshawar, June 24 (Reuters): Gunmen fired on a Pakistan International Airlines plane as it landed in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar tonight, killing a woman on board and injuring three crew members in the third incident at a Pakistani airport this month.
The plane was carrying 178 passengers travelling from Saudi Arabia when it came under attack, policeman Asghar Khan said at the airport.
The plane was hit by six bullets, police said, killing the Pakistani woman and narrowly missing the captain. At least one bullet struck the plane’s engine, police said.
The woman’s daughter was sitting next to her when she was shot in the head, PIA official Mohammad Kifayatullah Khan said.
“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.”
The incident will raise further questions about whether the government is really prepared to retaliate against the Taliban after it announced a military operation to flush the militants from their mountain strongholds in North Waziristan on June 15.
Pakistani jets have pounded suspected militant hideouts and the Taliban have vowed counter attacks.
Three policemen were killed today when they were patrolling on motorcycles in one of Karachi’s most volatile areas where Pakistani security forces shot dead five Talibani militants earlier this week.
A senior police official said that the policemen were patrolling on motorcycles in Mangophir here when armed gunmen opened fire on them.