Monday, May 23, 2011

Terrorists attack Navy airbase in Karachi, destroy three aircraft

Armed militants stormed into a naval airbase here on Sunday night, destroyed three aircraft and killed at least five people — four navy personnel and a foreigner whose nationality could not be ascertained.

According to sources, 12 to 15 militants managed to sneak into the PNS Mehran base, which is used for naval aviation, from three directions and carried out a simultaneous attack on different targets.

It could not be confirmed if they had faced any resistance or had used some disguise while entering the premises.

The militants also took some Chinese personnel hostage in a building inside the base, which was subsequently surrounded by naval commandos, the sources said.

The PAF Museum located near the base is visited by a large number of people on Sundays.

The militants either placed detonators on the aircraft present in hangars in PNS Mehran or used rockets to blow them up.

Witnesses said they had heard three or four explosions, but another blast took place in the base at around 1am, turning the
whole place into an inferno. The blast which was heard as far as Rashid Minhas Road spread panic among residents.

The fire and smoke were visible from the Sharea Faisal and intense gunfire was being heard.