Five terrorists killed as Fidayeen attack on Pathankot air base ends

Pathankot/New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Five terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed in a gunfight that lasted nearly 15 hours after they breached a high-security security perimeter and entered a frontline Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Pathankot town in northern Punjab early on Saturday to carry out a Fidayeen attack, police said.

Police sources said that at least three IAF security personnel were killed and four others were injured in the terror attack that started around 3.30 a.m. The counter offensive lasted nearly 15 hours.


“I congratulate our armed forces and other security forces on successfully neutralising all the five terrorists in ‘Pathankot Operation’,” union home minister Rajnath Singh tweeted on Saturday evening.

“We have also lost security personnel in the Pathankot attack. My heartfelt condolences to their families. We can never forget their sacrifice,” the home minister said.

Though the firing initially stopped around 9 a.m. after four of the terrorists were neutralised, sounds of firing and grenade explosions were again heard around 11.30 a.m. The counter-offensive ended after nearly 15 hours as the lone surviving terrorist engaged the security agencies in a gun battle inside the base, located around 250 km Chandigarh.

The MIG-21 Bison fighter jets, MI-35 attack helicopters, missiles and other critical assets of the IAF at the base were secure and the terrorists were prevented from getting near the technical area where these were stationed, IAF sources said.

The IAF, in a statement in New Delhi, said that the terrorists’ plan to destroy “valuable assets” was “foiled” due to “effective preparations” and “coordinated efforts”.

The central government’s response to the terror attack, which came just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘surprise’ visit to Lahoreto meet his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, was measured, with Rajnath Singh talking of “peace” and a “befitting reply” in the same tone.

Rajnath Singh said in New Dellhi: “Any terrorist attack on us from Pakistan, and we will give it a befitting reply.”

“Pakistan is our neighbour, we want peace, but any terror attack on India will get a befitting response,” he added.

“It could have been worse. I congratulate my security forces for their valour and the way they tackled the terrorists,” Rajnath Singh said.

The IAF claimed that the terrorists were detected by aerial surveillance platforms as soon as they entered the base.

The statement said intelligence inputs had been received of a likely attempt by terrorists to infiltrate into the military installation and preparatory action had been taken to thwart any such attempt.

The Western Air Command chief, Air Marshal S.B. Deo, was on location and personally supervised and coordinated with the Army, NSG and local civil police for exchange of information and operational activities, the statement said.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval monitored the terror attack from New Delhi.

National Security Guard (NSG) commandos, who had been rushed to Pathankot on Friday evening following apprehension of an attack, the IAF’s Garud commandos and army commandos led the counter-attack on Saturday against the terrorists, who are suspected to have crossed into India from Pakistan through the border, 30 km from Pathankot.

The Punjab Police and its elite SWAT commando units provided the outer cordon to the counter-operations to ensure that no terrorist was able to escape.

“The terrorists were contained in one area of the air force station. They could not reach near the technical area of the air force station where IAF aircraft and other assets are located,” a Punjab Police officer stationed near the IAF station told IANS.

Intelligence officials said that the terrorists involved in the fidayeen attack could be from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terror outfit.

The terrorists, who were in army fatigues, were initially reported to be around four to six.

Two IAF attack helicopters and UAVs could be seen assisting security forces in the combing operations.

The Pathankot-Jammu highway was put on high alert. The entire area near the IAF station was sealed.

“The Air Force moved its barricades near the chowk around 5 pm on Friday. Area residents were alerted and told to remain inside. The first gunshots were heard after 3 a.m. and continued for the next 5-6 hours,” Ashok Mehta, a local resident told the media.

Security forces were put on high alert in Pathankot district on Friday after a senior police officer had said he and his two companions were abducted by five armed men in army fatigues but released later.

This is the second major fidayeen attack by Pakistani terrorists in north Punjab in just over five months. A terror attack on Dinanagar town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district on July 27, 2015, left seven people dead, including a senior police officer.

With the opposition attack on the union government following the fidayeen attack, union minister Prakash Javadekar said that talks with Pakistan will take place with terror as the key issue.

“As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is our neighbour. Talks will take place keeping terror as the key issue,” he said in New Delhi. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a beginning, now it is Pakistan’s turn to reciprocate.”

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar met NSA Ajit Doval and three service chiefs in New Delhi on Saturday to assess the situation in the wake of the terrorist attack.

A report from Islamabad said that Pakistan has condemned the terror attack.

In a statement issued in Islamabad, Pakistan’s foreign office extended heartfelt condolences to the government, people of India and the bereaved families, Radio Pakistan reported.

“Building on the goodwill created during the recent high level contacts between the two countries, Pakistan remains committed to partner with India to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism afflicting South Asian region,” the statement added.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Strongly condemn terrorist attack on Pathankot Air Force base. My deepest condolences to families of the brave soldiers martyred in the attack.”


    • As long as the green coloured snake is there, there will be bloodshed, chaos, and destruction all around!!! Deepak

      Hello, Deepaka Shettre. Namaskara. How are you this 2nd day of the year 2016?

      Have you heard of the Pathankot attacks of today?

      Do you remember how our beloved Pradhana Sevaka stopped on Xmas Day (oops… sorry… Good Governance day) to deliver some Kuswar (Kidio, gulio, nevrio, kokkis, laddu, Kokkis etc) to Nawaz Shareef? And wasn’t it our dancing queen – ‘Thai’ Sushma Swaraja (‘Gubbacchi’) who visited Pak some 15 – 20 days back?

      And do you know how Nawaaza Shareefa and the Paki est respond to both the visits? They sent over some terrorists to say thanks! Oh yeah! They said – “Thanks for the Kuswar… but we prefer some Mutton Biryani and Haleem” – and the reply was carried out with automatic weapons, grenades etc which left 3 Indian soldiers dead! And that too, JUST on the 2nd day of 2016!

      So, do you think our beloved Pradhana Sevaka and his ‘gubbacchi’ were justified in their visits to distribute Kuswar? Do you think those fellows understand peace? Do you think they want peace in the first place? So, why does India bother in the first place?

      American citizen/Defense and Foreign Affairs Expert….Mr. Copy-paste pro, Mr. Sophisticated mind (and never mind if you conferred that silly title on yourself)…. Mr. Original Rampu’ji….. your views on this please.

      And, Mr. Nelson – your opinions too.

  1. our dancing queen – ‘Thai’ Sushma Swaraja (‘Gubbacchi’) who visited Pak some 15 – 20 days back?

    Praveena …Your great Italian great original dance queen from Italia…will go soon to Italia…. so pack your bag

    • Praveena …Your great Italian great original dance queen from Italia…will go soon to Italia. – Deepaka (aka Dronu Sugam – beloved bro of Sonu Nigam) Shettre

      Dance queen, eh? Really Shettre? I don’t recall her dancing around like Helen (in her prime) at Gandhiji’s samadi.

  2. Spectacular outcome of Modi’s unsolicited gatecrash visit!
    RSS claims nothing has happened!!
    Modi – the Civilian Government is for Modi’s peace overtures and that is why he is dealing with the PM.
    Parrikar says, the military is against us and that is why we do not deal with them!

    Mod’s military doctrine: deal with those who do not fight, avoid those who fight. The man of wax, acclaimed as the IRON MAN !?

  3. Apart from addressing the threat posed by external enemy Pakistan and terrorist groups, Bharatha has two other big challenges: One, keep an eye on internal enemies who say ‘Jai Hind’ and pledge loyalty to foreign ‘Umma’. Second, educate ignoramus folks like Joker Praveena Pinto and other members of beef-club who are busy defaming their own country to impress their foreign masters.

  4. “Five terrorists killed…” – Report.

    Appreciate the reporter for referring to these filthy rats as ‘terrorists’. Unfortunately, Western media (CNN, BBC, Reuters etc) are showing their mild racism by referring to these guys as ‘gunmen’ or ‘militants’. When these rats kill a white man, they are terrorists. If they kill a brown man, they are only ‘gunmen’ or ‘militants’. The mild racism by West is nauseating.

    • The mild racism by West is nauseating. – Rampa

      Hey! You must be sick and tired of popping in antiemetics. Do me a favor. Do Ghar Waapsi for good! 🙂

  5. “Five terrorists killed…” – Report.

    Appreciate the reporter for referring to these filthy rats as ‘terrorists’. -Atheist Mr.Original

    Sir,Three dreaded terrorist door delivered accompanied by the Former Home minister Jaswant Singh in an private jet to Kandahar.

    Ironically, Ramdev aide Ved Pratap Vaidik meets Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan.

    “If Nawaz Sharif does accept the invitation, let’s hope Narendra Modi”

    Who should western media describe ‘Saffron terror’ Mr.Original?
    Jai Hind

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