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‘Air base attackers trained in Waziristan’

August 17, 2012


Interior Minister Rehman Malik - File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed on Friday that because of an advance warning about a possible attack on PAF installations terrorists’ attempt to harm Kamra assets on Thursday was foiled and all the attackers were killed.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Malik said four of the assailants had been identified. They had received training in Waziristan and the raid, he said, could be traced back to North and South Waziristan.

He said the Taliban were harbouring criminals from all over the country and stressed the need for finding out the mastermind who had sent terrorists to Kamra.

Mr Malik praised the Commander of Karma airbase who led the operation to safeguard the facility and was injured while fighting the attackers.

Answering a question, he said no decision had yet been taken about launching an operation in North Waziristan, adding that such a decision would not be taken under foreign pressure.

Rejecting western media reports, he said the defence of the country and its nuclear assets were in safe hands. “When we can develop nuclear assets we also know how to protect them.”

About the Babusar Top attack, he said the terrorists had killed innocent people. He appealed to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to demonstrate patience and foil attempts to destabilise the country.

He said the government would soon announce a compensation package for families whose loved ones were killed in the sectarian attack.

Mr Malik said an amount of Rs100 million had been allocated to ensure safety on Sharah-i-Karakoram.

He said there was no US national on the premises of Police Lines Headquarters in Islamabad, but conceded that some foreign trainers, including from Australia, were there fro training police personnel.

The interior minister said law-enforcement agencies and police department had been directed to maintain security on Eid. Yaqoob Malik adds from Attock: Ten suspects were picked up during a search in various areas around the Kamra cantonment on Friday and they are being interrogated.

A large number of Afghan refugees have been living in different parts of Kamra district for years and there is no record about them with the authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, a team has been set up to investigate the incident and identify the militants.

The post-mortem on the militants’ bodies was conducted late on Thursday night at the mortuary of DHQ hospital under the supervision of Dr Khalid Mehmood Khan amid tight security. During the autopsy, law-enforcement personnel collected fingerprints which would be sent to the National Database and Registration Authority to establish the identities of the attackers.

Meanwhile, a security man who was injured during the fighting with the attackers died on Friday. PAF spokesman Group Captain Tariq Mahmood said that Mohammad Iqbal’s funeral prayers were held at the PAF base in Minhas.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt visited the base on Friday.