Death toll rises in terror attack on Indian air base

An armored vehicle moves near the Indian Air Force base that was attacked by militants in Pathankot, Punjab, India on 2nd January 2015 [PTI]

Ten people have been killed in a gun-battle between Indian security forces and an unknown number of militants who stormed an Indian air base in the north-western state of Punjab that shares borders with Pakistan.

The Indian Ministry of Defence on Sunday said seven security personnel have been killed in the attack after a 15-hour encounter, including one who succumbed to injuries after a freak explosion during combing operations at the site.

“Due to effective preparation and coordinated efforts by all security agencies terrorists were detected by aerial surveillance platforms,” said an Indian Air Force statement on Saturday.

Air force spokeswoman Rochelle D’Silva on Sunday said combing operations to secure the Pathankot air force base were continuing by late Sunday morning.

There were fresh blasts heard from inside the base on Sunday morning which the Defence Ministry later confirmed were explosions of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) during the combing operations.

Indian media reports said a member of the National Security Guards had died after sustaining serious injuries owing to the IED blast.

The attack took place a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday told a local Indian TV channel that five militants had been “neutralized” and that there were strong indications of the militants bearing links to Pakistan-based terror groups. The Minister also claimed that there was prior intelligence of an attack.

Pakistan on Saturday condemned the attack and said it wanted to continue to build on the goodwill created by the impromptu meeting between Modi and Sharif last month.



TBP and Agencies

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