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Bodies of Karachi airport attack militants exhumed

KARACHI: Bodies of 10 militants who were killed in the June 2014 Karachi airport attack were exhumed from the Edhi Foundation’s graveyard in Mowachh Goth by health officials under the supervision of a judicial magistrate and police on Tuesday.

According to officials, this was done to collect DNA samples after it was revealed during the investigation that not all the deceased suspects were foreigners but some were from Karachi.

The police along with a team of doctors and judicial magistrate reached the graveyard under tight security and took more than five hours to complete the job where they had to dig up 10 graves one by one to take DNA samples from the bodies.

According to police surgeon Dr Ejaz Ahmed Khokhar, DNA samples had been collected from all the bodies.
Investigation suggests that two of the militants were from Karachi

“We have collected samples of the clavicle bone, teeth, nails and hair from the bodies,” he said, adding that the samples would be examined here initially and then would be sent to Islamabad for further examination and final DNA matching.

“It will take a week or so,” Dr Khokhar claimed.

He said that samples were also collected when the militants were being buried as “identified bodies” but their quality and preservation standards were not reliable after more than two years of the incident.

The fresh samples, the police surgeon said, would meet the requirements to reach the desired results.

More than 20 people were killed and 18 others were injured in the 2014 attack on the Haj terminal of Karachi airport.

The militants armed with automatic weapons, grenades and a rocket launcher were later killed in a gun battle with security forces. The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Bodies of the unidentified attackers, who were presumed to be of Central Asian origin, were buried after DNA samples had been collected by police investigators for identification purposes.

However, after the recent arrest of two Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (Naeem Bukhari group) militants, Ishaq alias Bobby and Asim alias Capri, it was learnt that at least two of the 10 militants were locals and belonged to Karachi.

Among them, Ishaq alias Bobby told the police, was his brother-in-law Majid and his friend Hisham.

Ishaq Bobby and Asim Capri were primarily arrested for their alleged involvement in 28 high-profile murder cases, including that of Ajmad Sabri.

“The DNA matching will help tracing their the airport attackers family links and history if any of them is local,” said a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) official explaining the objective of the exercise.

“Militants, unfortunately, use links within their family to propagate their extremist ideology and we have witnessed this in the Ishaq Bobby case who claimed that he was actually inspired and led by Majid — one of the airport attackers,” added the official.

According to Bobby, the official said, Majid lived in Orangi Town with his family members who left the city after the airport attack when they learnt about his fate through the media.

The DNA samples, he claimed, would help the police trace family links and history to expand the scope of investigation.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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