Mother shot dead in front of daughter in Pakistan airline attack

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Mother shot dead in front of daughter in Pakistan airline attack

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A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane has come under attack in Peshawar Airport.

One woman, travelling with her young daughter, died after being shot in the head by gunmen who hit the airline with six bullets as it was landing.

Mohammed Kifayatullah Kahn, a PIA official, described the scene: “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,” he added.

Three crew members were injured in the assault. According to an airline official, the plane’s captain narrowly escaped being hit.

Officials in the northern Pakistani city have tightened security around the airport.

Critics say decades of neglect of the country’s ragged police force has left citizens vulnerable.

The attack comes after officials announced a military operation to flush Taliban hardliners from their mountain strongholds in North Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistani jets have pounded suspected militants. The Taliban have promised counter attacks.

Many are now asking whether the government in Islamabad is fully prepared for what could be the beginning of a Taliban backlash.