4 gunmen, 2 troops dead in attack on Indian air base
02 January 2016, 16:37
Indian troops killed four gunmen who had entered an Indian air force base near
the border with Pakistan and exchanged fire with security forces on Saturday,
officials and news reports said. At least two Indian soldiers were also killed
in the ongoing violence.
least one helicopter could be seen later in the day firing at an area inside
the Pathankot air force base. Shots could also be heard from inside the base.
No other details were available and phone calls to Defense Ministry and air
force officials went unanswered.
force spokesperson Rochelle D'Silva said earlier on Saturday that at least four
gunmen entered the living quarters of the base, about 430km north of New Delhi,
but were unable to penetrate the area with fighter helicopters and other
Trust of India news agency quoted police as saying that four attackers were
killed following an hour long gunbattle, and that police started an operation
to clear a wider area of other possible intruders.
in Punjab state, is on the highway that connects India's insurgency-wracked
Jammu and Kashmir state with the rest of the country. It's also very close to
India's border with rival Pakistan.
were investigating whether the militants came from the Indian portion of
Kashmir or from Pakistan. Rebels routinely stage attacks in Indian-held
Kashmir, where they've been fighting since 1989 for an independent Kashmir or
its merger with Pakistan.
attack comes just a week after India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an
unannounced visit to Pakistan to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
visit was seen as a potential sign of thawing relations between the two
nuclear-armed neighbours. The two heads of government also had an unscheduled
meeting at the Paris climate change talks.
accuses Pakistan of arming and training Kashmir's insurgents, a charge
Islamabad denies. More than 68 000 people have been killed in the violence in
the Indian portion of Kashmir.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters on Saturday that India wants peace
with Pakistan, but "if there is any kind of terror attack on India, we
will give it a fitting reply."
July, gunmen staged a similar attack at a police station and a moving bus near
Gurdaspur, a border town in India's Punjab state. The three attackers then
killed four policemen and three civilians before being shot dead by security