Attack helicopters hovered over the Air Force station and fired inside the base on Saturday as the stand off continued late into the afternoon between security forces and terrorists who have infiltrated the military installation.
Intermittent gunshots were heard from inside the base. The path leading to the airbase was sealed by the police with heavy barricades.
‘Four of the infiltrators have been killed. We have been engaging one or two more infiltrators. There may be more who are dormant but we don’t know for sure that is why we have to go house to house and comb the entire place,” said a senior military official.
LIVE COVERAGE: Four terrorists, three security personnel killed
NSG commandos, Air Force and army personnel were involved in the operations. One Air Force personnel was killed in the operation, and several others are seriously injured, the official said.
The terrorists, suspected to be the same men who killed a taxi driver and hijacked a private car belonging to a police official, were armed with automatic weapons.
“We have succeeded in preventing them from entering the inner perimeter,” the official, who cannot be identified, told The Indian Express.
He said at the moment ‘the focus is on clearing the base’ and investigations into how they had entered would follow later.
One of the four infiltrators killed in the operation was shot dead as he was climbing over the 10 ft high concrete wall of the air base. The wall is topped by concertina wire.
In Dhaki Chowk adjoining the air base, a youth sustained a minor injury on his arm a few hours back after he was hit by a pellet from a blast inside. Villagers speculated it could have been a grenade. The youth was rushed to the civil hospital.
A group of youths shouted anti-Pakistan slogans.
The security arrangements at roads and flyovers leading to the airbase were tight. Dhaki chowk residents say security in the area was tightened more than they had ever seen from yesterday evening.
Helicopters were carrying out surveillance since yesterday itself. The villagers said they woke up to firing at about 3 am.