Police thwarted a suicide attack on the airport serving Pakistan's capital, as a shootout about 200 meters (yards) from the international terminal killed the assailant and wounded three police, officials said.
It follows a Jan. 26 suicide bombing at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel and fueled fears that pro-Taliban militants could be targeting Pakistan's cities in retaliation for a recent army airstrike on an al-Qaida hideout near the Afghan border.
Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said it was the sixth militant attack in the past 15 days - mostly suicide bombings in Pakistan's northwestern frontier near the Afghan border. "They (the attacks) are interlinked," he said, without elaborating.
Witnesses said the forecourt of the airport terminal was crowded with hundreds of people when the attack happened around 9:10 p.m. Tuesday. Mohammed Sarib, who was at the airport to collect someone arriving on a flight, said he saw a man exchanging fire with security officials. "That man later blew himself up," he told The Associated Press.