Pathankot: In a pre-dawn attack on Saturday, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be members of Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at an Air Force base in Punjab's Pathankot.
Here are the key developments:
- The attack at Pathankot led to a fierce gun battle in which three security personnel, including a Garud commando of the IAF, were killed along with four attackers.
- Pakistan condemns terrorist incident in Pathankot in which many precious lives have been lost: Pakistan Foreign Ministry
- Pakistan's ISI paid money to terrorist groups - LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen, Babbar Khalsa - to launch terror attacks in India, sources tell Zee Media.
The terrorists, who struck just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's unscheduled visit to Lahore, could not, however, penetrate the defence cordon at the air base with effective response from the security forces.
- Terrorists began their attack at around 3.30 am. Four terrorists were killed by the security forces within five hours.
- More terrorists were suspected to be still on the loose as gunshots were heard during the subsequent combing up operation. IAF was using its two attack helicopters to assist the joint team of ground troops to neutralise the remaining terrorists.
- Authorities said helicopters and other equipment at the Air base are safe.
- The terrorists, with huge quantity of RDX in their possession, made their way to the base from the back side where there is a jungle.
- The operation is supervised directly by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
- Anticipating an attack after some armed men abducted an SP of Punjab Police on Thursday night, a team of NSG commandos had been rushed to Pathankot last night itself.
- Top security officials in Delhi said the intent of terrorists clearly was to cause maximum destruction at the Air base which was thwarted in "one of the most successful counter-terror operations".
- This was the second big terror attack in Punjab in less than a year. Three terrorists had stormed a police station in Dina Nagar in Gurdaspur in July last year before being eliminated in a 12-hour gunbattle.
- The attack came just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to Pakistan and met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with an aim of improving ties.