“TY Khan” content editor for Dunya Network tweeted the following photographs of the incident stating” helicopter crash Gilgit”
In a statement sent to selected journalists, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) spokesperson Mohammad Khorasani claim an alleged attempt on the life of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as they “shot down” a helicopter. However TTP claim he escaped injury as he was allegedly travelling in a second helicopter.
There were several fatalities in the incident which state agencies described as being due to “developed tech fault during landing” denying TTP claims.
Ambassador of Philippines Domingo D Lucenario Jr and Ambassador of Norway Leif Larsen (image Geo)
DAWN Media reported the incident stating, “Ambassador of Philippines Domingo D Lucenario Jr, Ambassador of Norway Leif Larsen and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors were killed in a helicopter crash in Naltar Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday.” Two pilots who were also killed were named as Major Altamash and Major Faisal Dutch whilst Ambassador Marcel de Vink and Polish ambassador Andrzej Ananicz were reported injured. The full Statement of TTP is as follows,
TTP successfully shot down PM Nawaz Sharif’s MI17 helicopter but he survived because he was in the 2nd helicopter (statement)
Image from TTP statement
“Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has accepted shooting down of an MI-17 helicopter.
The special group of Tehreek-e-Taliban STF (Special Task Force) and TIA had made special plans for targeting Nawaz Sharif on his tour in the region. But Nawaz Sharif survived as he was in another helicopter. One anti-aircraft was used to shoot down Pakistan’s MI-17 helicopter. In this the on board pilots and foreign diplomats accompanying Nawaz Sharif on this tour were killed. Al hamdolillah (By the grace of Allah).
In this war between Shariat and Kufr and democracy, we will not sit idle until we eliminate the name of democracy and its custodians. Inshah Allah (Allah willing) and Nawaz Sharif and his accomplices are our primary targets.
We will very soon show you the shoulder launched missile (SAM-7) used in this worthy event and also its training to the whole world.
By repeatedly giving warnings in the media they are still not taking it seriously. Media persons should make sure they remain neutral otherwise there will be no one to listen to their voice. We are monitoring some media for sometime and watching some people too.
Central Spokesperson Tehreek-e-Taliban
A further image of the helicopter incident tweeted from TY Khan content editor for Dunya Network
Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwal initially claimed in a tweet,
“One MI-17 heli out of 3 carrying visitors had a crash landing at Naltar. Total 11 foreigners and 6 Pakistani passengers on board”
later he updated stating,
“Update Naltar: 7 Fatalities.Foreigners-4 (Ambs Norway, Philipine, wife of Amb Indonesia, Malaysia).Pakistani-3; two pilots, one crew member-6”
“Update Naltar:Accident cause-As per initial info, 2 heli landed safely while 3rd developed tech fault while landing-7”
Surface to air missile SAM 7
The surface to air missile SAM 7 allegedly used in the attack by TTP is described as “old but deadly technology” which uses a heat-detection system and total time required to fire the missile is six seconds. The specifications and effectiveness of the weapon are described in the following article from ABC .
Express Tribune reported an eye-witness as claiming,
“An eye witness told our correspondent Maha Musaddaq that he saw the helicopter swing and fall into a crash – causing what he said was the loudest sound he had ever heard.
The eye witnesses further said they had to break the windows of the helicopter to retrieve the passengers. The helicopter did not have any seat belts, according to him.”
Major Altamish and Major Faisal were among six people killed in the Gilgit helicopter crash (image Geo)
Both the military and the Taliban accuse each other of propaganda. A day of mourning has been declared and the grieving families of those that died in the incident will await the results of an investigation which will hopefully establish the cause of what happened today in Gilgit.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.