Indian Army Took 11 Hours To Eliminate Terrorists Who Attacked Pathankot Air Base

  • Pinaki Bhattacharya
  • 11:50 AM, January 9, 2016
  • 5622
Indian Army Took 11 Hours To Eliminate Terrorists Who Attacked Pathankot Air Base
Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar addressing a press conference at Pathankot Air Base on 5, Jan 2016 (File Photo: SpokespersonMoD on twitter)

The Indian Army may have taken more than 100 hours to eliminate six terrorists who infiltrated into the Pathankot air base, but it engaged the terrorists in firefights for only about 11 hours leading up to their killing.

None of the soldiers involved in the firefight suffered any casualty and the army was able to block the terrorists from venturing close to where the Indian Air Force aircraft were parked.

The fatalities on the Indian side included Lt Col Niranajan and Gursewak Singh who belonged to the National Security Guard (NSG) sent in to sanitize the base after the terrorists had been killed. The other five soldiers who died were the unarmed members of the Defence Security Corps (DSC), who bravely fought the terrorists, said to be cadres of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), before laying down their lives.

The Indian Army had the JeM members boxed-in from the first day of the operation till the early morning hours of 2 January. The next day they had their first kills. They felled four of the terrorist intruders. Nine columns of the army had been inserted on 1 January. A squad of para-commandos (Special Forces) was also deployed, sources familiar with the developments told this correspondent.

First move of the army units was to close points of entry into the air force area of the airport. The other action was to close the points of exit in the civilian part to restrict damage.The Para-commandos were tasked to protect the civilians. The buildings in the civilian part remained comparatively easy to guard.

The combined army operation had the first batch of three terrorists cornered even as troops in BMP 2 armored vehicles began closing the circle.  For a while there was a stand-off, but the terrorists could be eliminated after a firefight.

At least two more JeM cadres were alive and free, who had forced themselves into a deserted building. The building was already evacuated. And the house was brought down with explosives along with the occupying terrorists, with a second blast next morning.

The Indian Air Force later said in an official release. "Swift response by the (Air Force) station resulted in pinning down of the terrorists in a limited area, preventing their movement towards the sensitive Technical zone where bulk petroleum and weapon storage areas were located and also where aircraft were parked."

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