A heavy contingent of Pakistani soldiers were searching for the attackers in slums near the sprawling port city of Karachi's airport, which again briefly suspended all flights.
No casualties were reported and the attackers did not breach the gate of the security facility, but the incident underscored the worsening security crisis in Pakistan barely two days after heavily armed militants stormed an auxiliary terminal at the airport and engaged in an hours-long firefight with security forces that left 36 people dead, including 10 attackers.
After a 28-hour search-and-rescue operation, at least seven bodies were recovered early Tuesday from the airport's cold-storage facility, where the victims had taken shelter during the siege.
The Pakistani military has stepped up its air campaign in recent months as a bid to open peace talks with the militants has collapsed. Early Tuesday, Pakistani air force jets bombed nine insurgent hideouts in the Khyber Agency tribal area, killing 25 militants, according to officials.
The military wouldn’t immediately comment on whether the airstrikes were in retaliation for the Sunday night attack on the airport. The area that was bombarded, the remote Tirah Valley, has traditionally been a haven for other armed groups besides the Pakistani Taliban, but analysts say that the swirling mix of militants and allegiances in northeast Pakistan is growing even more chaotic.
The attacks in Karachi have been a show of strength by the Pakistani Taliban, a traditionally loose federation of militant groups united by their opposition to the central government in Islamabad.
"What they are trying to demonstrate is the Taliban movement has enough capability and capacity to challenge the state anywhere it likes," said Hassan Askari Rizvi, an independent security analyst based in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
"Therefore, if Pakistan decides to go for military action in the tribal areas, then they should be prepared to face the consequences, which is retaliation by the Taliban."
Many analysts believe that the Pakistani Taliban will gain more breathing room after the end of the year, when U.S.-led