KARACHI: Hours after the termination of clearance operation of Karachi airport following terrorist attack Sunday midnight, security forces started rescue operation in search of seven persons reportedly missing and believed they took shelter in the cold storage of the airport area. Relatives of seven missing persons were looking anxiously and waiting for their loved ones with a hope while tears rolling on their chicks saying they were still alive.
The fire that broke out at cold storage could not be fumed down till this report was being filed. Still one could witness the smoke coming out from the portions of the buildings that came under terrorist attack last night.
Authorities including Governor Sindh Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister of Sindh Qaim Ali Shah monitored the operation on ground. Security forces were still searching for the possible recovery of persons who got shelter in the cold storage facility.
Meanwhile, the members of the affected families lost their nerves and they became enraged and attempted to damage the wall saying their loved ones were in the building and calling them to rescue them but rescue teams neither paid any heed to their grievances nor allowing them entry.
According to the families, at least seven staffers were stranded inside the cold storage facility. Families’ members claimed they received telephone calls from their loved ones as they pleaded for help.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took notice of media reports about people trapped in cold storage of Karachi Airport since last 24 hours. He directed Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to supervise the rescue operation in this respect.
Meanwhile federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has hinted foreign hand behind the deadly attack on Karachi Airport. “Links go towards a country but verification was required. There were some evidences found who was in the backdrop of this incident,” said minister soon after his arrival at Karachi to review situation especially post Karachi Airport attack. Officials briefed Nisar about the terrorist attack and counter terror-operation by the security forces.
Talking to media Nisar said verification of weapons recovered from terrorists needs to be done. “Ten terrorists entered in Karachi Airport area through two different routes. The objective of terrorists was to damage the aircrafts,” he added.
He said terrorists had rocket launchers and hand grenades. Two to three aircrafts were partially damaged. However he said all assets of Pakistan were safe.
He said security forces, Army, Airport Security Force (ASF), Rangers and police sacrificed their lives saving the lives of people and safeguarding property.
Eleven personnel of ASF were martyred, he said. Nisar said all the ten terrorists were killed till 1:30 am. Meanwhile after hours-long militant attack that killed 22 persons including security forces personnel on Sunday night, Karachi Airport was officially cleared and resumed its operational flights on Monday. Prime Minister’s adviser for aviation Shujjat Azeem said the flight operation at Karachi Airport has been resumed and all the flights were landing and taking off according to the flight schedule.
Earlier Army handed over the administration of the area to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Major General Rizwan Akhtar Director General Sindh Rangers in a media briefing said terrorists appeared to be Uzbeks, adding their DNA tests would confirm their identity.
Sindh government has announced Rs 100,000 each for those wounded in the attack.
Addressing to a press conference at Chief Minister House, CM Sindh Qaim Ali Shah said there was prior information regarding such incidents. There was information important government installations could be made target. Sindh’s Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Owais Muzzfar were also present.
Chief minister said the security’s responsibility of Airport came under the federal government’s jurisdiction.
Praising the role of security forces he said Pakistan Army has always served the country. He said security personnel sacrifices would not be parallel.
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