Pakistan issues parcel bomb alert to all int'l airports

14:53, November 03, 2010      

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The federal government of Pakistan has issued a "high terror alert" at all international airports in the country, specifically on out-bound "air cargoes" on way to foreign destinations, reported local media Dawn on Wednesday.

The alert came against the backdrop of the United States terror alert, following the discovery of two packages containing bombs that were in transit to the U.S. from Yemen.

"The only thing we can do is to be more cautious and security on all the airports across Pakistan has already been tight due to prevailing law and order situation," said an official associated with aviation industry.

Pakistan has seen a surge in terror attacks since it has joined the war against terror and faces guerrilla-style attacks from terrorists, thus forcing the security officials to stay on a round- the-clock vigil.

With several security agencies including the federal Airport Security Force (ASF) actively looking after the internal and external security at international airports, the chances of such "cargo breaches" are slim, according to a federal aviation official.

"We have a far better security at all the airports and international best practices are in place across all the international airports," said the federal aviation official requesting anonymity.

ASF, formed through an act of parliament in 1975, is assigned to ensure security of aircraft passengers, baggage, cargo and mail within the limits of airport and aerodromes.

"They are prepared and very vigilant, however, the current terror alert in America will help us learn new methodologies needed to plug modern terror loopholes which are not there at the moment," said the official.

The official, however, refused to comment as to what security measures were in place at airports, saying the "matter is sensitive" and "security can be compromised."

Asked to comment what measures were in place to trace modern technical terror gadgets which fail to get detected during scanning, a senior customs official said "we physically check most of the air cargo be it anything, scan it and even conduct x-rays if needed and chances of slipping such cargoes without a check is negative."

Meanwhile, a senior federal official said they issued instructions in such regard for enforcing maximum security at all airports across Pakistan, specifically on air cargoes and passengers' baggage.

Source: Xinhua


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