KARACHI: Naval Chief, Admiral Noman Bashir said Monday that installations of Pakistan Navy were being relocated to a safer place away from residential areas.“We are trying to relocate Naval Base and other vital installations away from residential areas”, he said while addressing a press conference to give a preliminary report about the special anti-terrorist operation.He said the effective security of naval installations is becoming difficult due to crowded residential areas around the Mehran base. When these installations were planned and built near Karsaz, they were away from the city, but with the fast growth of residential areas around the base, it has become in the centre.
He said that 11 Chinese and six American engineers who were there at the time of attack, were rescued unhurt and shifted to a safer place.Naval chief pointed out that the response time from Naval commandos was three minutes and they fought back, but the attackers were highly trained and had sophisticated weapons like RPG launchers.About 15 attackers entered the base from the eastern side and attacked PC-3 Orion surveillance aircrafts with RPGs.
He said ten Naval personnel were martyred including one officer and three firemen. Lieutinent Yasir was perhaps the first martyr who challenged the attackers. Meanwhile, three firemen who never cared for their lives rushed to save the burning aircraft, but became victims of the attackers, he added.He said that two attackers blew themselves, while several were arrested and are now in the custody.Admiral Bashir said that Naval commandos completed the entire operation with the back up support of Pakistan Army, Rangers and Police. Rangers and police were at the outer cordon.Naval chief said that he remained in direct contact with the President, Prime Minister, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Army and Airforce chiefs and other heads during the entire operation.He highly appreciated the bravery of Naval commandos, saying that Pakistan Navy is proud of them. “I pay rich tribute to them especially Lt. Yasir who challenged the attackers,” he added.Responding to a question, he said five P-3C Orion aircraft, built in USA, were at the base and three of them are modified. Four more P-3C aircraft are currently being modified in USA, he added.To another question about the involvement of any country behind the terror attack on the bas, he said only investigations can reveal the truth which have already been ordered to be convened.