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Pakistan plane attacked in Peshawar

One woman confirmed dead as PIA flight arriving from Riyadh is fired upon while landing at Bacha Khan airport.

Last updated: 24 Jun 2014 21:34
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The PIA passenger jet which was targeted was an Airbus A310 with 178 passengers on board [EPA]

A Pakistan International Airlines flight into Peshawar from Riyadh has been fired upon from the ground while landing at Bacha Khan International Airport.

One woman is confirmed to have died in Tuesday's incident, local sources told Al Jazeera, and at least two other people were wounded.

"The shots were fired from outside the airport, one lady passenger and two stewards were wounded, the woman later died in the hospital," airline spokesman Mashud Tajwar told AFP news agency. 

The passenger jet, with the flight number of PK-756, landed safely after being fired upon. The aircraft was an Airbus A310 and it was carrying 178 passengers during the flight.

Muhammad Faisal, a senior police official, said that four to five bullets hit the plane.

"Flight operations have been temporarily suspended," Faisal told AFP.

Search for attackers

Police cordoned off an area outside the airport after the attack and have launched a search for those responsible, Faisal said, adding that one air steward was in a critical condition.

Another senior police official said the incident could have been catastrophic, as the PIA plane was flying only 1,500 metres above ground level when it was attacked.

"Credit goes to the aeroplane pilot that he managed to land safely," Najeeb Ur Rehman said.

Flights into Peshawar's airport have been fired upon in the past, but none are believed to have been hit until Tuesday's incident.

The airport was previously attacked, reportedly by Uzbek fighters, in December 2012 with a rocket attack which killed four followed the next day by gunfire.

The attack on the aircraft follows a deadly assault on the airport in Karachi, the country's main city, on June 8.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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