5 Pathankot terrorists killed; battle still on

04 January 2016

As the operation against the terrorist raid on an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot entered the third day, at least two terrorists were believed to be holed up in a two-storey building in the complex, though officials said there was no collateral damage to the strategic Air Force assets.


A National Security Guard officer said that the terrorists had come ''well prepared'' and were ''heavily armed'' to target the strategic assets of the Air Force.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in New Delhi from a visit to Karnataka on Sunday evening, and directly went into a huddle with senior officials including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to discuss the terror strike. 

Forty hours into the operation against the terrorists, investigating agencies had not yet made any significant recoveries that could give a clue to their identity or the route they took to enter India.

The United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) based militant conglomerate, has claimed responsibility for the attack. UJC is a conglomerate of around 13 militant outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Combing operations will continue till the base safe, the NSG officer said. Five of the terrorists have been eliminated so far.

The circumference of air base is 24 kilometres, and it has taken time to comb the area. The process of recovering the last two bodies is going on.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal met bereaved families of personnel killed.

A building had to be blown up at the Airbase to neutralise the sixth terrorist, he was carrying heavy explosives.

Two terrorists are said to have entered the airbase much before the four men abducted a Punjab Superintendent of Police at 1 am on 1 January.

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