Pathankot attack: Sixth terrorist neutralised, combing operations to end tomorrow

Reviewing the Pathankot air base attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently meeting with Parrikar, Swaraj and NSA Ajit Doval. Two terrorists are still holed-up inside the base.

By: Express Web Desk | Pathankot | Updated: January 5, 2016 7:28 pm
Indian army soldiers stand guard near the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab, India, January 3, 2016. A gold medal-winning Indian shooter was among 10 people killed in an audacious pre-dawn assault on the air force base, officials said on Sunday as troops worked to clear the compound near India's border with Pakistan after a 15-hour gunbattle. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta The defence minister lauded the security personnel for containing the terrorists away from the site of critical assets inside the base.

The security forces have managed to gun down the sixth terrorist holed up at the Pathankot air base, according to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Addressing a  press conference after taking stock of the situation in Pathankot, Parrikar congratulated the forces and said they “have done an excellent job containing these highly motivated terrorists”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called up his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and promised action against the culprits of the Pathankot air base attack.

READ: Witness account: Terrorists phoned commander, called team leader Major

READ: Terrorists entered base on Jan 1, cabbie who was killed got call from Pak, says official

Click here to read the news in Hindi

Highlights:

6:51 pm We have decided to post one AIG counter intelligence unit in Pathankot and install cctv network: Punjab DGP Suresh Arora

5:11 pm Pak govt should take firm and immediate action against groups and individuals responsible for Pathankot terrorist attack: PM tells Sharif

5:11 pm Specific and actionable information regarding Pathankot attack has been provided to Pakistan, says PMO

5:06 pm PM Modi strongly emphasized need for Pak to take firm & immediate actions against those responsible for & linked to Pathankot attack: MEA

4.35 pm: During his telephonic conversation with PM Modi, Nawaz Sharif promised swift response from his government against terrorists: MEA

4.28 pm: The Pathankot base houses close to 3000 families and is spread over 2000 acres; it is not easy to methodically search every site. First priority was to protect the families and assets: Parrikar.

4.26 pm: All Air Force bases will be audited, says Parrikar.

4.20 pm: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calls up Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the aftermath of Pathankot attack

4.18 pm: The defence minister lauds the security personnel for containing the terrorists away from the site of critical assets inside the base.

4.17 pm: Parrikar announces that combing operations will continue till tomorrow.

4.15 pm: Parrikar confirms that the sixth terrorist has been neutralised.

4.12 pm: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar commends the efforts of the security personnel involved in the operations inside the Pathankot airbase.

3.50 pm: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reversing foreign policy from “outcomes to optics”, Congress stepped up attack over government’s handling of ties with Pakistan in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack which came within days of his Lahore visit.

“The Prime Minister should now tell what are the outcomes. While we support dialogue, we want to make it clear that our security and integrity are non-negotiable,” Sharma said.

3:10 pm

1:20 pm: The terrorists were from Pakistan, this can be said on basis of phone calls that were made: NIA DG Sharad Kumar.

12:30 pm:

12:24 pm: After the cancellation of NSA level talks in Aug, what was the understanding reached b/w NSA Ajit Doval & his Pak counterpart in Bangkok?Anand Sharma

12:20 pm: We urge PM Modi to take nation into confidence & consult leadership of principal opposition parties- Anand Sharma, Congress.

12:10 pm:

12:00 pm: 

11:03 am:

11:00 am: Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairs meeting on internal security, NSA Doval and senior security officials present.

10:45 am: Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar to leave for Pathankot at 1PM, will be accompanied by IAF Chief Arup Raha and Army Chief Dalbir Singh.

9.30 am (Tuesday, 5 January): Gurdaspur SP Salvinder Singh who was abducted by the terrorists spoke to the media this morning claiming he was blindfolded and couldn’t understand what they were saying as they were speaking in Urdu. He also said that the terrorists had GPS devices and didn’t seek any help with directions.

(click here to read in Hindi)

10:26 pm Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi has said that the national capital has always been on high alert but refrained from disclosing details about the presence of terrorists of any particular outfit unless they are arrested.

9:21 pm: NIA registered three cases to probe the entire conspiracy behind the strike at the IAF base in Pathankot in Punjab believed to have been carried out by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The cases were initially registered by local police stations in Pathankot that were transferred and handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a central probe agency that was set up after the audacious 26/11 Mumbai terror strike to probe all terror cases in the country.

8:21 pm: Intermittent firing heard at Air Force base.

8:20 pm: Voicing anguish over Pathankot terror strike, former Union minister Manish Tewari attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him “Mian Modi” and demanded that India should immediately call off foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan.

6:30 pm: NIA registers case in connection with Pathankot Air Force base terror attack.

6:11 pm: Government sources say operation lasted so long as there were strict instructions by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar not to take “unnecessary risks” to avoid casualties.

6:11 pm: Terrorists who stormed Pathankot base were well trained: Top government sources

6:10 pm: PM discusses Mazar-e-sharif, Pathankot terror attack and North East earthquake at National Security Council meeting: Arun Jaitley

6:05 pm: Terror strike at Pathankot airbase was a fidayeen attack; objective was to cause loss to its strategic assets: Arun Jaitley

6:01 pm: We are at a stage when ops are still on and only when they get over we will decide on Indo-Pak talks: Arun Jaitley

6:00 pm: Security forces successful in meeting all three objectives of ensuring strategic assets not hurt; minimal damage and liquidating or catching terrorists alive: Arun Jaitley

5:50 pm: Given the magnitude of the airbase, operations will continue till we fully render the base safe: NSG Official

5:48 pm: Combing and search ops continue. The Air force has deployed all its assets: NSG Official

5:46 pm

5:35 pm Jawans have given ultimate sacrifice in Pathankot, security forces took prompt action: FM Arun Jaitley

5:12 pm

5:11 pm

5:10 pm

 

4:12 pm: Government is “mulling options” regarding holding of Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan in Islamabad on January 15: Top sources

3:40 pm: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s visit to China from tomorrow for talks with top Chinese leaders has been put off in the wake of the attack by Pakistani militants on a key Air Force base in Pathankot.

3:26 pm: 5th terrorist has been killed, combing operation still on for 6th terrorist: ANI

2:15 pm

2:00 pm:

1.45 pm: Mohali Police say that the huge cache of arms recovered have been manufactured in Pakistan and China. Three men have been arrested. More details are awaited.

1.30 pm: NSA Ajit Doval’s trip to China beginning Tuesday has been cancelled in wake of the ongoing terror attack.

12.35 pm: A major blast has been reported at the building where at least two terrorists are believed to be hiding, news agency PTI reports.

12.15 pm: Speaking at a press conference, Major General Dushyant Singh, NSG  said the operation was still on to eliminate two terrorists who are still inside the Air Force base.

“We would like to assure that all personnel and strategic assets are safe. Entire operation will continue till all the personnel asset structures are combed,” Singh said.

An Army official who was also present at the conference said the priority of the force was to ensure that the Air Force assets were safe. He added that there were no civilian casualties and that the terrorists were holed up in a residential building inside the base.

11.49 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and NSA Ajit Doval are currently meeting at 7 Race Course Road, the Prime Minister’s official residence, to review the ongoing operation.

11.36 am: A labourer working at a brick kiln in Manwal village has told police that he saw two men with weapons in the morning. We are carrying out search operations in the area. I also got a call from senior officers to find out if any car had been snatched. So far there is no information about any car snatching,” Shahpur Kandi Station House officer Kuldeep Raj said.

11.30 am: A car has reportedly been snatched in Manwal village, about four kilometers from Pathankot Air Force base. Pathankot SSP RK Bakshi, has, however, called it a rumour.

“It is a rumour but we are taking it seriously. I am investigating it. DIG Kunwar Vijay Pratap is also there,” he said.

11.00 am: The third day of operation again began with heavy firing. However the firing has come to rest for the last one hour. Combing operation was on both inside and in the periphery of the airbase.

A team of senior Punjab police officers led by ADGP (law and order) HS Dhillon went inside the airbase today morning to take stock of the situation on ground.

Helicopters were again pressed into action this morning.

Shops on the Dhakki Road, just adjacent to boundary wall of Airforce station are open today and usual business is going on.

9.00 am (4 January): Fresh firing has been reported from inside the Pathankot Air Force base. Security officials have resumed operations and are hopeful of flushing out the remaining terrorists by the end of the day. It is not yet know how many of them are still inside the base.

9.00 pm:

8.30 pm: PM Narendra Modi to chair a high level meeting with the NSA, Foreign Secretary and other officials.

8.15 pm:

8.00 pm: I look at him as Arjuna who fought for his ‘karmabhoomi’: Sister of NSG Lt Col Niranajan Kumar, who was killed in a grenade blast inside the air base.

7.30 pm: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking about Yoga at a time when an encounter with terrorists was raging on at Pathankot Air Base.

“Business as usual is all well and good but a speech about Yoga while an encounter rages at an Air Base in #Pathankot seems totally out of sync,” Omar wrote on Twitter. He was referring to the Prime Minister’s address at a Yoga conference in Karnataka.

6.40 pm:

5.49 pm:External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held consultations with former Pakistan foreign secretaries and ex-envoys to come with a strategy after the Pathankot attack.

5.31 pm: BSF carrying out search operations along with Punjab and Jammu border to find evidence of infiltration. No evidence found on Punjab border so far.

5.20 pm:

5.15 pm:

5.10 pm:

4.50 pm:

4.13 pm: “Operation details are not for the media to know, operation yet continues at pathankot airbase, it is because of our alertness that NSG was called in time. We are fighting a war against a country. We need to tackle this problem if terrorism. As a home minister of Punjab I have created a second line of defense so that my citizens are protected,” said Dy CM Sukhbir Badal.

4.06 pm: Punjab Police will act as the second line of defence whereas BSF will be first line of defence: Sukhbir Singh Badal, Dy CM Punjab.

4.03 pm: Building inside air base facing Akalgarh village destroyed by security forces. One terrorist was beleived hiding there.

3.57 pm: Reuters India is reporting that the Indian Army has confirmed that one militant was killed inside the air base today; bringing the total number of terrorists dead to five.

2.50 pm:

pathankot, pathankpt attack, pakistan Locals in Pathankot burn Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s effigy.

2.41 pm:

2.30 pm: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has breifed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the terror attack.

2.10 pm: In what could spell more trouble for the defence forces engaged in eliminating the terrorists at the Pathankot Air Base, Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, DIG Border Range Punjab Police has now said that there could be more terrorists holed up inside.

1.50 pm: Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has put the Indian Railways on high alert asking all RPF officials to be on duty to defeat the ‘anti-national’ elements.

1.30 pm: The national capital has been put on high alert after intelligence reports that two terrorists have managed to enter New Delhi. NSG and SWAT commandos have been deployed across the capital. Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi has urged citizens to report any suspicious activity to 100/1090

1.15 pm: At least two terrorists are still inside the Air Force Base, Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, DIG/Border range told CNN-IBN adding that it was still unclear how many terrorists are still inside.

 

12.30 pm: Lt Col Niranjan of the NSG has lost his life during a combing operation at the Pathankot Air Base. Meanwhile, fresh firing has been reported from inside the Air Force Base, in what could be an indication that the operation is currently on.

“Pained to know about demise of Lt. Col. Niranjan of NSG during mopping out ops at Pathankot. The nation salutes his sacrifice,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.

 

11.15 am: Security personnel have begun extensive combing operations in Akalgarh village and the adjoining areas. Police officials have sealed all approach routes to the village and attack helicopters are flying low over the area.

10.45 am: Three jawans were injured during the combing operations at the air force base, news agency PTI, quoting defence sources, said.

Read: Punjab govt yet to decide on handing over probe to NIA

9.00 am (January 3): Search operations resume at Pathankot air base after Saturday’s terror attack. While there were reports of firing being heard inside the base, they were attributed to combing operations. Helicopters were also seen flying over the base, to assist ground staff.

9:45 pm: Compliments to our jawans for their valour and courage while fighting terrorists: President Pranab Mukherjee

9:30 pm: I salute the brave martyrs for making the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our Motherland: Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister

8:55 pm: Security forces should remain vigilant against any threat to the peace of our nation: President Mukherjee

Read: Pathankot attack major challenge for PM Modi’s Pakistan gambit: Omar Abdullah

8:50 pm: Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Air Force Base in Pathankot in Punjab: President Pranab Mukherjee

8:13 pm:

8:10 pm: My tributes to those martyred thwarting cowardly attack in Pathankot Air Base: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

8:00 pm: I compliment security forces for swift and effective response: Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister

7:50 pm: I want to assure countrymen that our armed forces have strength to defeat evil intentions of our enemy: PM.

7:30 pm:

7:20 pm: Enemies of humanity who can’t see India progress, such elements attacked in Pathankot but our security forces did not let them succeed: PM

7:10 pm: Nation is proud of its brave security forces who have always rose to the occasion. I salute our forces on successful operation in P’kot: HM

7:00 pm: We have also lost security personnel in Pathankot attack. My heartfelt condolences to their families.We can never forget their sacrifice: HM

6:45 pm: I congratulate our armed forces and other security forces on successfully neutralising all the five terrorists: Rajnath Singh

6:00 pm: Fifth terrorist neutralized, combing operation continues.

5:45 pm: Pak number used to hire taxi by terrorists in Pathankot: reports

5:30 pm: Due to effective preparation and coordinated efforts by all security agencies terrorists were detected by aerial surveillance platforms: IAF

READ: Terror-related incidents in Punjab between 2001-2016

5:10 pm: Intelligence inputs had been available of a likely attempt by terrorists to infiltrate into the military installation in Pathankot area: IAF

Security forces stand guard near a road barrier outside an Indian air force base in Pathankot, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016.(AP Photo/Channi Anand) Security forces stand guard near a road barrier outside an Indian air force base in Pathankot, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016.(AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Also Read: Commonwealth Shooting champion Fateh Singh martyred in the Pathankot attack

5:00 pm: The likely plan of the terrorists to destroy valuable assets of the Air Force has been foiled. Currently the operation is going on: IAF

4:45 pm: It raises security concerns for Punjab as the state is witnessing a sudden surge in such activities after being peaceful for the last 20 years,” said Surjewala.

WATCH VIDEO

4:40 pm: The current module appears to have come from Pakistan in the same fashion. Secondly the terror camps that are run by terrorists for carrying on anti- India activity in POK continues to be supported by Pakistani establishments:  AICC Communication department chief Randeep Surjewala told reporters here.

4:30 pm: Pakistan today condemned the terror strike at an Air Force base in Pathankot by heavily- armed Pakistani terrorists and asserted that building on the goodwill created during the recent high level contacts, it remained committed to partner India in tackling terrorism.

PATHANKOT3

3:58 pm: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan: “Pakistan condemns the terrorist incident in Pathankot, India, today, in which many precious lives have been lost.

We extend heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of India and the bereaved families and wish the wounded speedy and full recovery.

Building on the goodwill created during the recent high level contacts between the two countries, Pakistan remains committed to partner with India as well as other countries in the region to completely eradicate the menace of terrorism afflicting our region.”

3:40 pm: Defence Minister Parrikar is being briefed by the three Service Chiefs and NSA Doval.

3:35 pm:

3:30 pm:

3:15 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who is rushing to Pathankot, said that the number of militants killed in the terror attack is “not known” yet.

“I don’t want to give any news that is not at all correct. I am in touch with them and I will also visit Pathankot at 4 PM today.”

“Due to the thrashing incident yesterday, there was a timely alert. Had it not been so, the damage could have been more,” Badal said.

SEE PICTURES: Terrorist attack at Pathankot IAF base days after Modi’s visit to Pakistan

3:00 pm: Pakistan condemns the terrorist attack in Pathankot, a statement reads. It adds that Pakistan remains committed to partner with India and other countries to eradicate the menace of terror.

2:10 pm: Strongly condemn terrorist attack in Pathankot. My deepest condolences to families of the brave soldiers martyred in attack: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi

1:10 pm: RJD chief Lalu Prasad says this is not the right time to question foreign policy. “I stand with our soldiers in this fight,” he added.

12:40 pm: Click here to see first pictures from the site.

12:30 pm: We are now getting reports of aerial firing by Air Force choppers at the site.

11:55 am: ANI is reporting that a Defense Service Corps jawan has succumbed to injuries, taking the death toll to 3 among the security forces.

11:45 am: The terror attack should be condemned outright, says Congress’s Ahmed Patel

11:30 am: “Punjab shares a long border with Pakistan. Terrorism trying to enter Punjab once again but BJP will deal with it strictly,” Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma

11:10 am: A team of NIA personnel have reached Pathankot: PTI

11:05 am: Press Trust of India says a second personnel of the IAF has been killed.

pathankot air force base, pathankot attack, pathankot terror attack, punjab attack, punjab terror attack, pathankot attack news, india news, IAF

11:00 am: The terrorists are suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed, the terror outfit from Pakistan.

11:15 am: Sound of three grenade blasts heard inside airbase.

10:55 am: Sounds of firing from within the airbase again.

10:50 am: Pakistan is our neighbour and we want peace, but any attack on India will get a befitting response: Rajnath Singh tells ANI

10:40 am: Home Minister Rajnath Singh told ANI that he was happy the security forces gave a befitting response to terrorists in Punjab. “The country is proud of them,” he said.

10:25 am: We are now getting confirmation that at least one IAF personnel has been killed in the attack. Some others are injured as well.

10:15 am: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will hold a high-level meeting with officials.

9:25 am: Local police in the area have been telling people not to come out of their homes.

9:20 am: The SUV that was snatched from the police officer on Friday was found in a Himachal village 1 km away from the perimeter of the Air Force base.

9:10 am: 80 per cent of the Air Force base has been sanitised. One shot was fired from an administrative block at 7:45 am. Security forces are now believed to be closing into this block.

There are 12 entry points into the base.

9:00 am: We are getting reports that four terrorists have been killed in the attack.

8:20 am: Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah says the attack is the first major challenge to PM Modi’s Pakistan gambit.

“From past experience I’m sure it emerge that these militants crossed over within the last few hours with the airbase as a specific target,” he wrote in a tweet.

8:00 am: Meanwhile, officials at the highest levels have convened a meeting at the Air Force headquarters in New Delhi. The situation is being monitored, ANI reports.

7:50 am: Security has been tightened in Ludhiana and surrounding areas.

7:45 am: Surinder Singh, SHO, Sarabha Nagar tells news agency ANI that the entire state of Punjab is on high alert after the attack.

7:30 am: We are getting reports that NSG and Garud Commando Force are engaged with terrorists.

7:15 am: Early in July, the Army had sounded alerts about possible attacks in border areas following the attack in Gurdaspur. Read the story here.

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(With inputs from Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Man Aman Singh Chhina, Divya Goyal, Nirupama Subramanian)