KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that 10 people have been martyred and four terrorists have been confirmed killed in the operation between militants and security forces at the PNS Mehran base.
Talking to the media after a survey of the PNS Mehran base in Karachi, Malik said security forces launched a coordinated operation to regain control of the navy base.
“We wanted to bring all the logistics under one command against the enemy,” said Malik, adding that navy forces were assisted by commandos, firemen, Rangers and police.
He said that among the six terrorists present at the site, one suicide bomber’s head had been recovered, while four bodies were also found. He added, however, that two individuals were seen running off the base.
Malik mentioned that one terrorist, whose picture was shown, was ready to blow himself up.
The interior minister mentioned that the terrorist’s suicide jacket was still operational and there were several undetonated grenades on the site as well, adding that there might be explosives in the building which collapsed.
The terrorists had been using heavy weaponry, said Malik, “the kind no common man can afford to buy”.
He said the terrorists had to be receiving support and equipment from somewhere.
Malik said the terrorists were wearing “western clothes, had small beards and three of them had sharp features”.
He said two of the attackers look to be around 22 years of age and one of the suicide bombers was around 25 years of age. He said they were dressed in black clothes “like they do in movies”.
‘They were dressed like Star Wars characters,’ said Malik.
Joint investigation team formed
Malik said an investigation team led by the navy has been formed and will include members from the FIA, police, Rangers and other intelligence units. Malik said that team has been asked to file the report as soon as possible.
He added that terrorists were planning attacks on sensitive installations and army institutions, and that names of several officials who they were planning on attacking had come forward.
The interior minister said there was a chance the terrorists might carry out another operation.
“I want to pay special tribute to martyred Lieutenant Yasir, who gave up his life and saved valuable lives and assets,” Malik added.
He also acknowledged the services of the firemen and other security personnel who lost their lives.
“We are fighting a war against a cunning enemy,” said Malik, urging people to condemn those trying to destabilise Pakistan.
Foreigners present, but safe
Malik confirmed that six Americans and 11 Chinese citizens were present at PNS Mehran when the terrorists took over.
“The foreigners were all evacuated from the base. They were training our men about these aircrafts.”
Referring to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s sit-in on Sunday, Malik said that Rangers’ attention had been diverted from sensitive targets and deployed at the dharna site.
“Please have mercy on Pakistan. Do not divert attention of Rangers, police and intelligence agencies. Please do dharnas when your county can bear it,” said Malik.