- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The bodies of those killed in a Pakistani helicopter crash, including ambassadors from the Philippines and Norway and the wives of the ambassadors from Malaysia and Indonesia, arrived a military base Saturday near the capital, Islamabad.

State-run Pakistan Television showed Pakistani officials and the country’s army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif saluting the flag-draped coffins of the four foreigners, as well as the three crew members killed in Friday’s crash. Twelve people injured in the crash also arrived at the military base outside of Islamabad in a C-130 plane.

The dead were killed when a Pakistani army helicopter carrying them made a crash landing in the country’s north.

Pakistan says a technical failure caused the crash. The Pakistani Talban issued a statement claiming they had shot down the helicopter with an anti-aircraft missile, something the government later dismissed as an opportunistic attempt to take responsibility for such a high-profile incident.

Pakistan has declared Saturday a day of national mourning.

Foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told Pakistan Television the bodies of the foreigners would be flown to their countries by planes in the next two or three days as family members of the dead were coming to Pakistan.

“This is a moment of grief. All the bodies have arrived. We are in touch with the embassies” of the dead foreigners, Chaudhry said. He said the bodies of the foreigners would be kept at a military hospital until arrangements are finalized to dispatch them to their countries.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday called Malaysian premier Najib Razak to convey his condolences over the death of Malaysian ambassador’s wife, a statement from his office said.

Sharif contacted the Prime Minister of Norway on Friday to extend condolences on the death of Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan.

The “entire Pakistani nation is heartbroken on the incident,” he was told the Norwegian prime minister, according to a government statement.


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