KARACHI - Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan praised Pak Army, Rangers and police personnel for eliminating the terrorists who attacked old terminal of the Karachi airport late night on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Monday, he said that huge cache of arms, including heavy weapons, was recovered from the attackers, who planned to destroy important installations and aircraft.

The minister said the weapons are foreign made, but from which country they came exactly was yet to be verified.

Nisar said the terrorists intended to stage a long scene as they were equipped even with rocket launchers and other modern gadgets, besides carrying with them a good stock of food and medicine. They apparently wanted to take hostage the passengers, but security forced foiled their plan.

Earlier, Nisar chaired a meeting at the airport, where Civil Aviation DG, PIA MD, Rangers DG and other officials briefed him about the terror attack. He was told that 10 terrorist entered in two groups in the old terminal area, where they faced resistance and counter attack from the brave ASF soldiers.

The interior minister told the media that most of the attackers were foreign nationals, which indicate collaboration of foreign elements with the local terrorists. He said a detailed post-mortem and biometrics would be carried out of all ten terrorists to verify their identity. “We would also seek help from Nadra in this regard,” he added.

The minister said that security forces responded promptly as rangers’ troops reached at the spot within seven minutes, while the Pak Army troops reached within 20 minutes. He said seven of the attackers were taken down by the soldiers while the rest three - suicide bombers – blew themselves up upon their being cornered. He said all the militants were eliminated by 2am but search operation was continued till 4am to ensure complete security of the area.

Nisar said a total 19 people including 11 cops of the Airport Security Force (ASF) and one each of the Sindh police and rangers was martyred in the attack. He said that three aircraft suffered partial damage but that could be easily repaired. He categorically said that all the installations and aircraft remained safe. To a question, he said that though government was in negotiations with the Taliban but it will be given a tough response over this attack.

The Nation Monitoring adds: “Instead of any political scoring, this is time to unite as our enemy is unseen and hidden. It has targeted the entire country,” Nisar remarked. He said every street and corner of the country was at terrorists’ target and urged the security personnel to remain on their toes.

Meanwhile, families of seven airport workers blocked Shahrae Faisal demanding that authorities work towards freeing their relatives who were trapped in cold-storage facilities to escape the carnage. The interior minister said that people who went missing during the operation are being located by the security forces and rescuers.

UN chief condemns Karachi, Taftan attacks

Voicing great concern over the escalating terror attacks in Pakistan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the Sunday’s assault on Karachi airport and the suicide attacks targeting Shia pilgrims in Taftan, Balochistan and called for bringing the perpetrators to justice, our SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT from New York reported.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by this upsurge of violence across Pakistan,” his spokesman said in a statement issued on Monday. “While acknowledging the measures already taken to maintain security, he urges Pakistan Government to further increase its efforts to address terrorism and religious extremism, including with a view to protecting the rights of all people to safely practice their religion... The Secretary-General expresses his solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan and extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.”