Pathankot combing operations to continue for next few days

New Delhi: The combing operations in Pathankot air base area are likely to continue for the next few days, sources said, as the fifth terrorist's killing was confirmed.

The operations that started around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning continued through Monday, as at least one more terrorist who was holed up in a building was suspected dead.

Officials, however, said the chances of more terrorists hiding around the air base cannot be denied, and combing operations will continue.

"The possibility of more terrorists being present cannot be denied, the combing will continue," an official told IANS.

Sources said the terrorists possibly entered the base in two groups.

One group of four terrorists was killed on the first day of the operations itself. This was the group that kidnapped Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh.

The second group, suspected to be of two militants, entered the base before the first group and was in hiding.

A part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force, the air base covers an area of approximately 2,000 acres.

The IAF has pressed into operations Mi-35 choppers, and UAVs also.

"The area is extensive, and combing will take time. No risks can be taken," the official added.

Seven security personnel, including an officer of the National Security Guards (NSG), an IAF Garud commando and five Defence Services Corps (DSC) personnel, were killed by the terrorists.

The United Jehad Council (UJC), an umbrella grouping of Kashmiri militant groups based in Pakistan and led by Syed Salahuddin, on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack.

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