Pathankot: A fierce search-and-kill operation by the Indian security forces has come to an end at Pathankot Air Force Base, ending an over 60-hour long siege by suspected Pakistan-based terrorists. Amid confusing reports from the Ground Zero, we bring you the main highlights of the operation.
1. With sixty hours and on, the Pathankot Air Force Base encounter is one of the longest siege by terrorists in the history of the country. So far, India has lost seven security men.
2. Lt Col Niranjan Kumar , martyred during the encounter, was leading the NSG's anti-bomb disposal squad inside the Air Force Base. His last rites will be performed at his native village in Kerala.
3. IAF's Garud Commando Gursewak Singh's last rites were performed at his native village Garnala in Punjab on Monday. Married just 45 days ago, Singh was supposed to come home on January 13. Also read: Nation pays tribute to its bravehearts Lt Col Niranjan, Commando Gursewak Singh
4. A group of 5-7 terrorists infiltrated the Pathankot Air Force base on the night of January 1 and began firing on early Saturday morning.
5. Pathankot Air Force, one of the most crucial defence installations in the country, houses MiG-21 fighter jets and Mi-25, Mi-35 attack helicopters. Apart from vital defence machinery and equipment, the base is home to 1,500 families of IAF personnel.
6. Pathankot Air Force base is located on Pathankot-Jammu national highway, just 30 kilometers away from Indo-Pak border.
7. National Investigating Agency (NIA) is interrogating Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh. Singh, posted in Gurdaspur, has claimed that he and his friend along with his cook were abducted by a group of armed men on Thursday night, almost 24 hours before the deadly attack on Pathankot Air Force base.
8. Pathankot Air Force base attack, which comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprise visit to Pakistan to attend Nawaz Sharif's granddaughter's wedding, is first such attack after he became PM in May 2014.
9. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), headed by Masood Azhar, is suspected to be behind the attack. Masood Azhar was freed by India in 1999 for the release of hijacked Air India plane IC 814.
10. Reports say that Indian intelligence agencies had a prior input about the terror strike in the area but failed to prevent the attack. Agencies claim that a huge contingent of NSG commandos was rushed from New Delhi to Pathankot on Friday evening, a day before the attack.