Identification process: Stench permeates the morgue

Officials say attackers had small eyes, sharp facial features, typical characteristics of people with Uzbek descent.


Sohail Khattak June 10, 2014
Firefighters extinguish fires after militants attack Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on June 9, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The stench of the charred bodies was so overpowering that it filled the air inside the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s (JPMC) morgue, where the mortal remains of the Karachi airport’s attackers were placed on flat granite tables wrapped in white shrouds.

While medico legal officers of the JPMC performed an autopsy on the remains of the attackers, police officials positioned outside the main morgue prevented people, including members of the press corps, from barging in.

“The air inside is suffocating but we have to do our job,” said Kashif, a volunteer of Edhi, who was shifting dead bodies to the hospital. “Look at the stains on my clothes,” he said pointing at his uniform while turning an attacker’s body for the medico-legal officer, who was performing the examination.

According to the medical staff, the attackers, who were supposedly in their twenties disguised as Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel and were wearing blue shirts and dark trousers with bullet-proof vests.

Some of them sported a light beard, while others had clean-shaven faces with thin cylinder bodies, he revealed.

Commenting on their facial features, security officials said that the slain gunmen were small-eyed with sharp facial features, which are typical characteristics of people with Uzbek descent.

An official of the JPMC speaking on condition of anonymity said that they received 10 bodies whose post-mortem was conducted and DNA samples were taken for identification.

“The bodies could not be identified immediately and DNA tests will be used for their identification,” said the official, confirming that the bodies were severely burnt.

Revealing details, senior police official Raja Umer Khattab said, “Nine bodies are intact and can be identified from their faces.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2014.

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