The terrorist attack that struck Pathankot Air Force Base on Saturday morning has claimed the lives of four terrorists and three Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel.
Sources of NDTV have said that the attackers were from Bhawalpur in Pakistan and were instructed to blow up the helicopters stationed at the air base. The terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed is suspected to have carried out the attack that started around 3.30 am in the morning.
The terrorists who entered the base wearing military uniform were contained in the administrative part of the air base. The area where the helicopters and fighter aircrafts are kept has been cordoned off and is safe, said the officials.
Further, the official vehicle they used to enter the air base has been identified as the car used by the Superintendent of Police of Gurdaspur, which was hijacked in Pathankot yesterday.
The Intelligence Agencies had issued an alert about a possible attack at Pathankot after they had intercepted a call made by the terrorists to their handlers in Pakistan, using the police official’s cell phone. And according to the sources, following the alert, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had called for an urgent meeting with senior officials last night. The National Security Guard, Special Forces of the Indian Army and additional soldiers were brought in to step up the security of the base after directions from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Condemning the attack, Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said, “We want good ties with Pakistan but a befitting reply will be given to any terror attack.”
With the attack coming days after Modi’s unscheduled and ‘bold’ visit to Pakistan, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “That was quick. Here’s the first major challenge to the PM Modi’s bold Pakistan gambit.”
Also, the attack comes within six months of the Gurdaspur terrorist attack where three terrorists opened fire in Dinanagar ,killing three civilians.
A statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry has condemned the attack at Pathankot and said that Pakistan remains committed to partner with India and other countries in the region to eradicate terror.
Following the attack, security was stepped up in the National Capital and Pathankot-Jammu national highway so that no terrorist sneak into Jammu-Kashmir.