Indian Air Force base attacked; Four attackers, two soldiers killed

NEW DELHI: Four attackers and two soldiers were killed when unidentified militants attacked an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab in the week hours of Saturday.

The gunmen wearing Army uniform entered the Pathankot air base and opened fire. In retaliatory fire, the four attackers were killed. Two security guards were also killed in the attack.

The gunmen entered the living quarters section of the Pathankot air force base but were not able to penetrate the area with fighter helicopters and other equipment, said an air force spokeswoman. Indian Defence Ministry official said the attackers were intercepted before they could storm the Pathankot airbase and the situation was taken in control.

Indian media reported the terrorists could not penetrate the defence cordon at the air base. Border police told media that the operation to eliminate the gunmen had lasted three hours.

The attack happened a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore where he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended the marriage ceremony of Sharif’s granddaughter. The visit was described as a goodwill gesture and a bid to boost relation between the two countries.

Pakistan has condemned today’s attack on the India Air Force base and said said it is committed to partner with India as well as other countries in the region to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism afflicting our region, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

“Pakistan extends heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of India and the bereaved families and wish the wounded speedy and full recovery,” FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said.

It may be noted that India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also recently visited Pakistan and called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad in a bid to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.

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