Pathankot terror attack: Combing operation still on at air base; NIA registers case to probe conspiracy
Over 62 hours after suspected Pakistani terrorists raided the IAF base here killing seven security personnel and losing five of their own, senior officers said on Monday evening that they were still sensitizing the area.
Pathankot: Over 62 hours after suspected Pakistani terrorists raided the IAF base here killing seven security personnel and losing five of their own, senior officers said on Monday evening that they were still sensitizing the area for possible hidden attackers.
"The operations are still going on. We have been able to eliminate the fifth terrorist. Combing and search operations continue," Inspector General Major Gen Dushant Singh of the NSG told the media in the evening.
Combing operation on at combing Pathankot, says NSG
He said that security forces comprising NSG, the army, air force with its air and ground assets, police and intelligence agencies were working in sync to make the operation successful.
"All the assets of the air base, including personnel and families, have been secured and are safe," he said. "Given the magnitude of the base, the operations will continue till we are able to fully render it safe."
The terrorists infiltrated the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot before dawn on Saturday, leading to fierce gun battles with security forces.
Four terrorists died on Saturday after 15 hours of fighting.
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.
Call on Indo-Pak talks only after Pathankot operations over, says Jaitley
Meanwhile, India will decide on going ahead with the foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled later this month only after operations to flush out terrorists from the IAF base at Pathankot are over, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
"I think let the operations get over and it is only then government takes a view on such matters," he told reporters after the National Security Council meeting presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the terror attack among other issues.
Jaitley was asked about the impact of the terror attack on the planned Indo-Pak talks. Asked about the identify of the terrorists, he said, "I think we are at a stage where operations is still on (and) therefore it is not proper for me to say anything more than that."
NIA registers case in Pathankot terror strike
On the other hand, NIA today registered a case to probe the conspiracy behind the strike at the IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab.
The case was initially registered by local police station in Pathankot that was transferred and handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a central probe agency that was set up after the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror strike to probe all terror cases in the country.
The NIA registered the case under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Arms Act against unknown persons, official sources said.
UJC claims responsibility for attack
The United Jehad Council (UJC), an umbrella grouping of Kashmiri militant groups based in Pakistan, on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack.
The UJC, led by Syed Salahuddin, said the raid "was carried out by the national highway squad of the UJC".
(With Agency inputs)