Two more terrorists killed, combing operation continues

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said bodies of four attackers have been recovered; all IAF assets are safe

Pathankot: Three days on, security forces yesterday neutralised two more terrorists holed up in the Pathankot air base as the attack raised questions over the fate of the Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan next week.

Security forces are sanitising the Pathankot IAF base. PIC/PTI
Security forces are sanitising the Pathankot IAF base. Pic/PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday chaired a meeting of the National Security Council, which discussed the attacks on Pathankot air base and the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. Neither anyone in the government nor those involved in the counter-terror operations were still ready to declare a closure to the attack in Pathankot as they declared that the "operations are still going on."

'Let the ops be over'
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who briefed the media in New Delhi on the meeting of the National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, said four bodies have been recovered and "the remaining two bodies will be recovered." Jaitley said the security forces were able to confine the terrorists to the place where they intruded and kept at a "reasonable distance" from where the assets were located. "All the assets are safe," he said.

As the government is said to be considering various options regarding the foreign secretary-level talks in wake of what is widely believed to be an attack by Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group, Finance Minister parried a question on whether the talks will go on. "The operations are still on. Let the operations be over. Then we will take decisions on these matters," Jaitley said. Asked if there was a link between the two attacks, he said it was too early to say anything.

Combing ops still on
National Security Guards Inspector General, Major Gen Dushant Singh, who had earlier said four terrorists have been killed, told the media in the evening that they have been able to eliminate a fifth terrorist. "The operations are still going on. We have been able to eliminate the fifth terrorist. Combing and search operations are going on. Given the magnitude of the operation of the air base, the operation will continue to be concluded till we are able to fully render the base safe," he said.

Rs 20 Lakh Compensation announced by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar to the kin of the martyrs in the Pathankot attack

7 The number of Indian security personnel martyred in the Pathankot attack

6 Number of terrorists gunned down by security forces in Pathankot

4 No of bodies of the infiltrators that have been recovered so far

Pakistan-based group claims responsibility

Srinagar: Pakistan-based United Jehad Council (UJC), an umbrella organisation of about a dozen militant outfits, yesterday claimed responsibility for the Pathankot attack. “The attack on the Pathankot Airbase was carried out by the National Highway Squad,” Syed Sadaqat Hussain, presenting himself as UJC spokesman, claimed in an email statement. He, however, did not give the number of militants involved in the attack. UJC comprises mostly the militant outfits active in Jammu and Kashmir. The claim is being seen as a diversionary tactic.

3 arrested with Pak SIM cards, AK-47 rifles
Mohali: The Punjab police yesterday claimed to have busted a drug smuggling syndicate and arrested three persons near here. Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) GP S Bhullar said, “The three notorious smugglers had with them foreign made weapons including a Pakistani double-magazine automatic stengun and Pakistani mobile SIM card,” he said.  He said that apart from smuggling heroin from across the border, the gangsters were also conspiring to kidnap children of rich people for ransom.

Why have you fallen behind, asked Pak handler
New Delhi: The terrorists who attacked the IAF base in Pathankot came in groups of four and two and the bigger group was ticked off by their Pakistani handler as to why they have fallen behind in reaching the target when their accomplices had already entered the complex. Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh’s jeweller friend Rajesh Verma who was also kidnapped on December 31, told his interrogators that he had heard the four terrorists, who boarded the vehicle after hijacking it, talking to their handlers, believed to be in Pakistan.

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