Pak terrorists hit peace talks
DARING STRIKE 5 Jaish terrorists storm Pathankot air base, kill 3 airmen; gunned down after 10-hour standoff
PATHANKOT: Indian security forces killed five terrorists who launched a pre-dawn attack Saturday on a strategic Air Force base in Punjab’s Pathankot district, setting off a fierce 10-hour gunfight that also left three security personnel dead and about a dozen others injured.
The attack on the air base, which is home to a large fleet of MiG- 21 and MiG- 25 fighter planes, was seen as an attempt to undo recent pro g ress in India’ s relationship with Pakistan. It came barely a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit to Lahore to meet with his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in a sign of possible thawing of relations between the two countries.
The slain security personnel included two from the Defence Security Corps including Commonwealth gold medallist shooter Fateh Singh besides an airman whose identity was not given.
“Enemies of humanity who can’t see India progress, such elements attacked in Pathankot but our security forces did not let them succeed,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Mysuru.
Gunshots rocked the facility around 3: 30am Saturday as a group of at least five men in army- style clothing -- believed to be operatives of Pakistanbased terror group Jaish- eMohammed -- launched the daring operation less than 24 hours after an alert was sounded in the state over the assault of a top cop of Gurdaspur, superintendent of police Salwinder Singh, by suspected Pakistani terrorists.
Elite NSG Commandoes, army personnel and a SWAT team of Punjab Police were rushed to the area following the assault on Singh and interceptions of mobile phone calls made by the terrorists to their Pakistan- based handlers.
“From the moment terrorists’ presence was confirmed on Friday, Punjab police and central security agencies worked in tandem and rapidly mobilised all resources in real time. That’s what accounted for the success of the operation,” said Suresh Arora, Punjab director general of police.
Sources said 168 NSG commandos led by major general Dushyant Singh were flown in from Delhi on Friday night.
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