Pakistan exhumes bodies of 2014 Karachi airport attackers for DNA tests

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

By: PTI | Karachi | Published:November 23, 2016 3:15 pm
karachi airport, karachi airport attack, jinnah international airport, karachi airport attackers, karachi airport taliban, terrorists karachi airport attack Smoke billows from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi in this June 9, 2014 file photo. . REUTERS/Athar Hussain/Files

Bodies of 10 foreign terrorists killed in a gun battle during the June 2014 Karachi airport attack have been exhumed from the graveyard in Karachi to collect DNA samples as authorities suspect two of them were from Pakistan. The militants’ bodies were exhumed on Tuesday from the Edhi Foundation’s graveyard in Mowachh Goth by health officials under the supervision of a judicial magistrate and police to establish their identities.

This was done to collect DNA samples after officials leaned during the probe that not all them were foreigners but two belonged to Karachi, Dawn quoted officials as saying.

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 to take DNA samples from the bodies.

According to police surgeon Dr Ejaz Ahmed Khokhar, DNA samples had been collected from all the bodies.

“We have collected samples of the clavicle bone, teeth, nails and hair from the bodies,” Khokhar said.

The samples would be examined initially and then sent to Islamabad for further examination and final DNA matching.

More than 20 people were killed and 18 others 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) had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Bodies of the unidentified attackers, 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 militants, it was learnt that at least two of the 10 militants were locals and belonged to Karachi.

Police said that the DNA samples would help the police trace family links and history to expand the scope of investigation.