India works to disarm explosive in final stages of air base operation

Published: January 4, 2016
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An Indian security personnel stands guard inside the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, India, January 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

An Indian security personnel stands guard inside the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, India, January 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI: Indian security forces were working on Monday to carefully defuse grenades in the final stages of an operation to secure a vast air base near the border with Pakistan, two days after a militant attack killed seven military personnel and wounded 22.

The attack, a rare targeting of an Indian military installation outside the disputed region of Kashmir, threatens to undermine a tentative thaw in relations with Pakistan.

Pathankot air base attack: Gunfight hours after ‘all gunmen neutralised’

According to the Hindu, fresh firing was reported at the Pathankot Air Force base with more terrorists suspected to be hiding in the area.

A senior federal government official said two militants who were hiding in the administrative block of the base had been killed on Sunday, but authorities had yet to recover the bodies.

“A total of six terrorists have been killed, but every inch of the air base has to be secured before we call off the operation,” said the official in New Delhi, who requested anonymity.

Manish Mehta, an Indian army spokesperson, said the military was working at a “very fast pace” to defuse live hand grenades and gather the remains of the militants. “The air base is large and we have been working all night to ensure that the base is totally in our control,” said Mehta.

Another militant killed at Indian air base on day two of shootout

A soldier from India’s counter-terrorism force, the National Security Guard, was killed by an exploding grenade on Saturday as he lifted the body of one dead attacker, prompting caution in work to clear the area of possible booby-traps.

Military trucks were seen entering and leaving the walled compound and helicopters were flying over it on Monday morning. The attack came about a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a surprise visit to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, the first by an Indian premier in 11 years.

Officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of previous suspected assaults by Pakistan-based militant groups, underscoring the fragility of recent efforts to revive bilateral talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Terror in India: Gunmen mount brazen attack on Indian air base

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Pakistan has condemned the attack and said it wanted to continue to build on the goodwill created by the impromptu meeting between Modi and Sharif last month.

In Afghanistan, at least one civilian was wounded after gunmen attacked the Indian consulate in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, an incident likely to make it harder to improve stability in the region.

Reader Comments (24)

  • Point
    Jan 4, 2016 - 11:29AM

    And the same millitary have Cold Star for Pakistan. This internal failure to tackle with situation speaks a lot about their preparation!!Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2016 - 12:10PM

    False flag operations!! Recommend

  • Shehryar
    Jan 4, 2016 - 12:12PM

    Longest soap serial of indiaRecommend

  • Sehi Banda
    Jan 4, 2016 - 12:17PM

    We all want Indo-Pak peace talks to prevail and succeed and finally bring some economic prosperity in the region, it is no tin the interest of Pakistan to do anything like this. This act was most definitely some local Indian group. The Indo-Pak border is the most heavily guarded sealed border in the world with razor wire, electrified fence with flood lights. It is the only borderline that can be seen from the Space at night, due to all the flood lighting by the Indians. Few months ago, Indian caught a pigeon that accidently flew over from Pakistan into India, they X-Rayed that poor bird, scanned it, interrogated it, and put it jail, LoL. Their media was calling that poor pigeon Pakistani ISI trained Pigeon, in reality it was some Pakistani villager’s pigeon with his name and phone# written in Urdu, in case if that pigeon was lost, to call its owner, a common practice in the village areas of Pakistan. I know its funny yet its true, you can google it. If they can spot a little pigeon, why could they not spot heavily armed men, as they claim, who crossed over from Pakistan. It just does not add up. Pakistan should question their every move, after they start showing their Fake Manufactured Evidence to Pakistan. They are very clever in that part of the game, making fake evidence.Recommend

  • Relistic
    Jan 4, 2016 - 12:26PM

    Seems more like a soap opera from Star Plus, Never Ending !!!Recommend

  • Sam
    Jan 4, 2016 - 12:55PM

    @Point:
    They are trying to catch these terrorists alive. Blowing them up with cannon is easy and can be done at any time. But the real prize is the information that they have and hence it is wise to tire them out and when they run out of ammo and food, to get them to surrender. This is no failure and Pakistan should learn from this. The last terrorist when cornered is more valuable than a dead one. Remember Kasab and how he unraveled the Pakistani game plan in front of the entire world.Recommend

  • PakPower
    Jan 4, 2016 - 12:56PM

    Wow, that is one inefficient operation. SSG have cleared bigger areas within hours.Recommend

  • Point
    Jan 4, 2016 - 1:37PM

    @Sam:

    Yes we remember, we also remember how he forgot to say Allah and was saying Bhagwan!!Recommend

  • fact
    Jan 4, 2016 - 1:42PM

    @Sam:
    Stop making foolish excuses for failure. Stupidity has some level too. And since you are soo good at reasons, any reason why your channels stopped reporting when the local people said barriers were removed a night before and shops were asked to close ahead of time ??Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2016 - 1:43PM

    @Sehi Banda: There is no need to implicate or tie the government of Pakistan. The entire world is aware of the truth and have enough past experience to know the truth without a word being spoken. Just to remind you the BBC TV videos about the double roles in war on terror. Recommend

  • FAZ
    Jan 4, 2016 - 2:37PM

    @Sam:
    I don’t think using canons is a good idea when you have billions of equipment and jets at stake. Its a simple locate and shoot sniper job even if you want to catch them alive.
    You forgot to mention perhaps that after India unravelled “Pakistani game plan” sanctions were imposed by UN and all the world nations severed their diplomatic ties with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anil Desai
    Jan 4, 2016 - 2:44PM

    @Point:
    Seems you are taking sadistic pleasure out of others misery, I think Sam has given you sane reply!Recommend

  • Anil Desai
    Jan 4, 2016 - 2:45PM

    @Point:

    You are brainwashed,No body can help you.Recommend

  • ares
    Jan 4, 2016 - 3:09PM

    @sheryar when terror happens in Pakistan its the victim of terror, whereas non-state employees from Pakistan wreak havoc in another country its soap opera for you. Indifference & crocodile skin towards others people’s pain is the reason why the world have a negative opinion of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2016 - 3:53PM

    @Sam:
    I would like you to see Kasab video on YouTube and then respond to @Point. If that doesn’t open your eyes then I am afraid nothing would. All these operations including Mumbai was an inside job by India itself. You people just need to wake up!!Recommend

  • Shetty
    Jan 4, 2016 - 4:27PM

    Shame on those people who call this a daily soap.Ask the family who lost there loved ones.You must have also felt the same when Peshawar killing happened…isn’t it.
    Its is sad that when every India Pakistan try to become friends we Indians have to pay the price of such talks..may it be kargil or this incident.Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2016 - 4:30PM

    Both the countries can defeat the menace of terrorism together! non state actors doing their best to derail the peace process.Recommend

  • Sehi Banda
    Jan 4, 2016 - 6:36PM

    It was a local Indian group, as suspected. The United Mujahideen Group in Kashmir. Pakistan is not involved, Thank God. Even if it is in Indian part of the Kashmir, Pakistan does not help them anymore, so they are not happy with Indo-Pak peace talks. India needs to take care of its part of the Kashmir, to make all those disgruntled people in Kashmir Happy. The best solution is to both countries keep the part of Kashmir they have and move forward. That is the most workable and logical solution now.Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Jan 4, 2016 - 7:29PM

    @Shahid: Wish the two countries could work together to put an end to this menace, as you said. But, for the rest of the world, it is becoming extremely difficult tell apart who is good and who is bad! Whom to trust? Whom not to! This is what Europe is facing.

    In a way, the differences are irreconcilable because most accept universal human values and respect Life, but some don’t.Recommend

  • JSM
    Jan 4, 2016 - 7:54PM

    @Relistic:
    We saw a similar drama at Army Public School last year. History repeats.Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jan 4, 2016 - 10:50PM

    Nothing against Indian Military. They have done a tremendous job by saving precious equipment and other Military assets. Such operations always take time but worrying aspect is the training and determination level of terrorists. They have already proven their destructive abilities in Pakistan and now in India too they have shown their superior capabilities. Both countries are left with only once option. Fight against them as one. Recommend

  • Sandip
    Jan 5, 2016 - 2:33AM

    @JSM: Agreed. And if this rearing of snakes continues, they can expect more in the future.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jan 5, 2016 - 9:07AM

    We can help you defuse. We have the expertise since we have been defusing now for over fifteen years while you have been fusing. No harm in asking. This defusing for so many days also exposes your inside job where your own people so meticulously prepared and installed explosives. Make your interior minister take a tour; that is if he agrees to!!! Another Samjhota Express!Recommend

  • JSM
    Jan 5, 2016 - 8:59PM

    @Pakistan:
    Why could you not prevent Peshawar? Have you thought that a number of children in APS Peshawar could have died of bullets fired by Pakistani anti-terror experts. We do not want that to happen on our side- so we are slow. Recommend

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