Pathankot Air Base attack, latest news and update: 5 developments
Pathankot Air Base has seen fresh firing as the loss of lives of Indian security forces escalates to seven. Latest reports suggest that two more terrorists seem to be holed up into the massive airbase surrounded by thick forests.
In the meantime combing operation by Indian army and elite National Security Guards (NSG) commandos is on. They are combing the airbase and the surrounding areas.
Pathankot Air Base is a massive military facility from which Russian-made fleet of MiG-21 fighter jets and Mi-35 attack helicopters fly.
In the meantime latest reports suggest that in the latest round of firing a senior NSG official has also lost his life. Lt Colonel Niranjan of NSG who martyred during combing operation at Pathankot air base. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh condoled his death.
Reports suggest that while all the four attackers were killed in the day-long gunbattle on Saturday, three security men were also killed in the operation. Three more Defence Security Corps personnel succumbed to injuries in hospital at night, Defence Ministry sources said on Sunday. Nine other security personnel including a Garud Commando are recuperating in hospital. An Improvised Explosive Device planted by the terrorists exploded during the combing operations that continued through the night after heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists attempted to storm the Air Force base on Sunday.
Meanwhile security officials have found large quantities of arms that was brought to the base by the terrorists. Among the weapons recovered are AK 47s, mortars, grenade launchers and GPS or Global Positioning System devices.The GPS devices will be scrutinised to decipher the route the terrorists took to enter the base. The probe has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency. Security forces wrested the control of the base last evening following a pitched battle through the day. By evening, official figures said three securitymen had died.
Indian agencies believe that the attack has been carried out by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Indian government has avoided directly accusing the neighboring country for the attack, lest it harm the ongoing peace process.
This has given fodder to opposition parties to attack the government for week-kneed response.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the security agencies for swift response. â€œEnemies of humanity who can’t see India progress, such elements attacked in Pathankot but our security forces did not let them succeedâ€, he said.
Indian security forces used heavy weapons to deter and destroy terrorists. Rockets were fired by a Mi-35 attack helicopter to contain the terrorists in the periphery of the air base. Armoured personnel carriers – bullet-proof and mine-resistant vehicles to carry soldiers safely into operation areas — were used to close in on the spot where the terrorists were holed up.