Tribune’s Gamechangers 2011: PNS Mehran attackers

Holding off an organised force for over 17 hours.


Express January 08, 2012

They came in the dark of the night, dressed like characters from Star Wars and managed to expose the security apparatus of the country.

In what is seen as one of the most sophisticated terrorist attacks in recent history, less than 10 men (according to the FIR and Interior Minister Rehman Malik) entered PNS Mehran, the Navy’s airbase in Karachi, and managed to destroy two P3C Orion aircraft and killing over 15 security personnel in a standoff that last for more than 10 hours. Some of the terrorists were even reported to have escaped from the scene after the attack.

Rumors were abound after the assault, of sophisticated weaponry – night goggles, sniper rifles etc. Even more worrisome was the fact that the men knew their way around the base.

The possibility of help from inside the Navy’s commando force and arrests of some personnel were not good signs either, considering the maritime force was attacked on two occasions before the final assault.

An organised enemy working on the inside is the biggest worry for the security apparatus, and the fact that less than 10 men held off a larger force totally changes the game.

Quote: “They were dressed like Star Wars characters.”

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