Security Forces Launch Fierce Offensive Against 2 Militants Holed Up In Pathankot IAF Base

03/01/2016 7:15 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NARINDER NANU via Getty Images
Indian army personnel leap from the rear of a truck at an airforce base in Pathankot on January 3, 2016, during an operation to 'sanitise' the base following an attack by gunmen. The deadly assault on an Indian air base near the Pakistan border was 'a heinous' terrorist attack, the United States said, urging the two rivals to work together to hunt down those responsible. Three security officers were killed in the attack by suspected Islamist militants on Pathankot base in northern Punjab state early January 2. At least four attackers also died in shootouts with security forces. AFP PHOTO/NARINDER NANU / AFP / NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

New Delhi -- As operations against two remaining terrorists at Pathankot air base continued for the second consecutive day, the Union government today said it was unsure if more militants were still holed up.

The comments by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi came a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted saying the operation had been completed with the killing of five terrorists. Singh later deleted his tweet.

"We are sure that still there are at least two more terrorists as firing have come from two different places. But we are not sure whether there are some more. We will come to know the number of terrorists only after the completion of the operation and body count," Mehrishi told a press conference.

Also Read: 'Terrorists Responsible For Pathankot Attack Came From Pakistan'

He said four terrorists were killed in the gun-fight yesterday while firing resumed this afternoon at two places in the air base.

Asked about the Home Minister's tweet, Mehrishi said he was giving authentic information and "don't not know what others are saying".

He said a Superintendent of Police of Punjab, who was kidnapped along with two others on Friday and was left off later, had said that there were only four terrorists.

Asked whether there is any lapse while dealing with the terrorists as seven security personnel were killed so far despite having prior information about terrorists, Mehrishi denied there was any lapse.

"There was no lapse. Some casualties are obvious when there is an operation in this scale," he said.

Also Read: Manohar Parrikar Briefs PM About Situation At Air Base

Mehrishi said so far there were seven casualties -- six Indian Air Force personnel (including five Defence Security Corps(DSC) personnel and one Garuda commando), and one NSG officer, Lt. Colonel Niranjan. Eight IAF personnel and 12 NSG commandos were also injured so far.

The NSG officer was killed while trying to defuse a grenade attached with the body of a terrorist. Five NSG commandos were also injured in the incident.

Seven other NSG commandos were also injured in separate incidents in mopping up operation.

Asked when the operation against the terrorist would be over, Director General (Air Operations) of the IAF Air Marshal Anil Khosla said they were not sure about that as the action against the militants was still on.

"No way I can predict. But we are hopeful that it will come to an end this evening," he said.

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