5 terrorists killed, 3 IAF security personnel killed and 4 hurt
Pathankot: Five terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed in a gunfight that lasted nearly 15 hours after they breached a high-security security perimeter and entered a frontline Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Pathankot town in Punjab early on Saturday to carry out a Fidayeen attack, police said.
A SWAT team during an encounter between the security forces and terrorists at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Saturday. PIC/PTI
Police sources said that at least three IAF security personnel were killed and four others were injured in the terror attack that started around 3.30 am. The counter offensive lasted nearly 15 hours.
Though the firing stopped around 8 am after the four terrorists were neutralised, sounds of firing and grenade explosions were heard again around 11.30 am, making it clear that security agencies were still engaged in a gun battle with one or two more terrorists who could still be hiding inside. The MIG-21 Bison fighter jets, helicopters, and missiles of the IAF at the base were secure and the terrorists were not allowed to get near the technical area.
“Enemies of humanity who can’t see India progress, such elements attacked in Pathankot but our security forces did not let them succeed,” PM Modi tweeted. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “Any terrorist attack on us from Pakistan, and we will give it a befitting reply.” National Security Guards (NSG) commandos, who had been rushed in here on Friday evening following apprehension of an attack, IAF’s Garuda commandos and army commandos led the counter-attack on Saturday against the terrorists who are suspected to have crossed into India from Pakistan through the border area, 30 km from here.
In other reports, it was said that the Intelligence agencies intercepted four phone calls. One of the terrorists called his mother in Pakistan’s Punjab province to seek her blessings. Sources said the attacker asked his mother to bless him before he goes ahead with the fidayeen (suicide) mission. “Son, please have some food before you lay down your life,” a woman is heard telling her terrorist son in the phone call intercepted by Indian agencies.