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Army vehicles coming out of Indian Air Force base in #Pathankot (visuals deferred by unspecified time).
New Delhi: The attack by terrorists, suspected to belong to JeM outfit, took place at around 3.30 am and three security personnel, including a Garud commando of the IAF, were killed in it, defence sources said, adding four terrorists were also killed by the security forces within five hours.
But, more terrorists were suspected to be still on the loose as gunshots were heard during the subsequent combing up operation, defence sources said. IAF was using its two attack helicopters to assist the joint team of ground troops to neutralise the remaining terrorists, the sources said.
Authorities said helicopters and other equipment at the Air base are safe. The technical area of the Air Force station is safe, police said. The terrorists, with huge quantity of RDX in their possession, made their way to the base from the back side where there is a jungle, they said.
Fifth terrorist neutralized, combing operation continues #Pathankot
But they could not go beyond the ‘langar’ (eating place) near the outer perimeter of the IAF complex as the security forces were ready to take them on, the sources said, about the operation which was supervised directly by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
Anticipating an attack after some armed men abducted an SP of Punjab Police on Thursday night, a team of NSG commandos had been rushed here last night itself after the NSA held a series of meetings with the Army Chief and top IB officials yesterday. An army detachment was also positioned at the Air base, the sources said.
The Indian Air Force in a statement on Saturday said, “Due to effective preparation and coordinated efforts by all security agencies terrorists were detected by aerial surveillance platforms. Intelligence inputs had been available of a likely attempt by terrorists to infiltrate into the military installation in Pathankot area. The likely plan of the terrorists to destroy valuable assets of the Air Force has been foiled. Currently the operation is going on.”
Pakistan has condemned the attacks.
“Pakistan condemns the terrorist incident in Pathankot in which many precious lives have been lost. Pakistan remains committed to partner with India and other countries in the region to eradicate menace of terror”, says a foreign ministry official.
After no sounds of fire for over an hour, several gunshots have been heard from inside the IAF air base, reports ANI.
Operations are continuing, immediate focus on resolving situation. It is premature to say anything more at this point, says MEA.
Strongly condemn terrorist attack in Pathankot. My deepest condolences to families of the brave soldiers martyred in attack: Rahul Gandhi.
Prakash Javadekar backs HM Rajnath Singh. “Rajnath ji has rightly said we will give befitting response to all such things”.
Army sources have told the media that the remaining terrorists may have moved out of the air base.
Attack helicopter sorties are still going on.
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal is set to visit the site of the terror attack.
The damage could have been bigger but just because of timely alert we were able to contain the terrorists, says Badal.
Elements who can’t stand peace carry out such attacks from time to time, says union minister Jitendra Singh, echoing Raman Singh.