Pak suspends navy base commander after Taliban attack

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 21:10

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday suspended a top
commander of the country’s major naval air base, three days
after a brazen attack by Taliban militants, which killed 10
navy personnel and destroyed two spy planes in the port city
Karachi, TV channels reported.

Geo television reported that the Base Commander,
Commodore Raja Tahir, will remain suspended till the inquiry
into the terror attack is completed.

Commodore Khalid Pervez has been appointed as new
commander of the PNS Mehran naval base in Karachi.

Other TV channels reported that it was a routine
transfer and posting.

A high-level committee has already started
investigation into the audacious attack, which raised fears
about the ability of the militants to strike in sensitive
areas.

Geo TV reported that four former navy officers, who
have already been convicted for helping the militants in
attacks on defence facilities, have also been questioned about
the Sundays attack.

The four convicts, now languishing in a prison in
Rawalpindi, were questioned if they had any information about
the attack.

They had never been posted at PNS Mehran, according
to reports.

Details about the attacks appearing in the local media
suggest that two militants facilitated four members of the
suicide squad entering the naval base.

The facilitators fled after the four militants entered
the base, Geo television reported.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which claimed
responsibility for the attack, earlier said the attack was
meant to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in
Abbottabad on May 2.

The militants, who seized the naval air base in
Karachi for nearly 17 hours, had been wearing suicide jackets.
They also had night vision glasses and carried out
operation in two groups.

The report said investigators believe that a senior
militant leader, Ilyas Kashmiri, had organized the plan as he
was the mastermind of the deadly Taliban attack on the army?s
headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009.

Six soldiers including two senior army officials were
killed in the attack and dozens army personnel had been held
hostage for almost 20 hours by a group of militants.

Kashmiri, believed to be operating from North
Waziristan tribal region, was once considered as the second
Osama bin Laden.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 21:10

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