The fate of four Pakistanis was uncertain after a Gaza-bound aid flotilla they were travelling on was attacked by the Israeli Navy, an incident that has claimed the lives of 10 foreigners.
Notable people onboard
Dror Feiler — Swedish-Israeli artist.
Edda Manga – Swedish historian (wife of Mattias Gardell)
Hedy Epstein, an American peace activist and Holocaust survivor.
Henning Mankell — Swedish author.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire – Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Mattias Gardell – Swedish historian
Mehmet Kaplan – Swedish member of parliament
Raed Salah – Leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
Syed Talat Hussain Naqvi – Pakistani journalist and executive director AAJ TV
‘The government of Pakistan is seriously concerned over the well-being and whereabouts of the Pakistani citizens and media personnel including Syed Talat Hussain and Raza Mahmood Agha who were on board the flotilla bound for Gaza,’ a foreign office spokesman said.
Hussain is an anchor and Agha a producer with the Aaj TV news channel.
‘The killing of members of this humanitarian mission, which also included women, is brutal, inhuman and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and norms’, Online news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.
‘The foreign ministry is in constant touch with its missions in the region to ascertain the well-being of our nationals,’ the spokesman said.
Other reports said 20 were killed, their nationalities yet unknown. Some 50 people are reported injured.
The flotilla of boats, containing 10,000 tonnes of aid had been warned before setting sail for Gaza that it would be denied entry.
Passengers of the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ immediately put on life jackets and were on high alert, according to the international group. A reporter from Al-Jazeera television on board said they decided to continue their efforts to reach the Gaza coast but changed course to gain time and try to reach the enclave during the day.
The flotilla, carrying 700 activists and 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid, set off from Cyprus Sunday afternoon on the last leg of what organisers hoped would be a successful attempt to break Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip.