The Residents of Pathankot in Punjab had a frightening start to the New Year; they woke up to gun shots and explosions near the air force base of Pathankot. Terrorists carried out a ‘Fidayeen’ attack at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base on Saturday (2nd January).
In a pre-dawn attack, a group of heavily-armed terrorists, suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit, struck at the IAF base, leading to a fierce gun-battle in which seven security brave hearts were martyred, and several injured along with six attackers killed. Importantly, the combing operation is still in continuance.
According to the reports, the attackers came to Pathankot in two cars and probably crossed the border on 30 December, 2015. The security establishment was already on alert as they had been intimated by an SP of Punjab Police after he was abducted by a group of armed men in Army uniform the previous night.
The attack was launched soon after a combing operation was carried out by the army on Friday in the area between Air base installation and Chakki River. All terrorists suspected to be from Pakistan, breached a high security area and entered the IAF base to carry out a Fidayeen attack.
The technical area, where the IAF’s MIG-21 fighter jets, MI-35 attack helicopters and other critical assets were stationed remained secured, but under the continuous treat.
Security agencies, including the Army, National Security Guards (NSG), Indian Air Force, para-military forces and Punjab Police are involved in the massive search operation inside the IAF base and the nearby areas.
Pathankot terror attack strikes at heart of Indian PM Modi’s peacemaking process with Pakistan, who went across to Lahore on his personal initiative popularly known as the Birthday Diplomacy. The attack, which is second in Punjab in just few months, is also likely to lead to sharp attacks on Prime Minister’s outreach to Pakistan from the opposition parties.