Toll rises to 10 in militant assault on Indian air base
January 03 2016 09:54 AM
Pathankot
Indian army personnel leap from the rear of a truck at an air force base in Pathankot on Sunday, during an operation to 'sanitise' the base following an attack by gunmen.

Reuters/Pathankot, India

A gold medal-winning Indian shooter was among 10 people killed in an audacious pre-dawn assault on an 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.

Six Indian security personnel were killed and the bodies of four militants had been recovered after the assault on the heavily fortified Pathankot air base in the northwestern state of Punjab.

The attack by gunmen disguised as soldiers came a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in an effort to revive talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

One of the Indian security members killed in the attack was Subedar Fateh Singh, who won gold and silver medals in the first Commonwealth Shooting Championships held in 1995, the National Rifle Association of India said.

Officials said the attack on the military base, just 25 km from the border with Pakistan, bore the hallmarks of previous suspected assaults by Pakistan-based militant groups, underscoring the fragility of recent efforts to revive bilateral talks between the often uneasy neighbours.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Pakistan 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.

Two security personnel were wounded in a blast on Sunday, a police official in Pathankot said, as troops scoured the base.

Dozens of armed forces stood guard outside the base.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said on Saturday five militants had been "neutralised", but there were no reports yet of the body of the fifth attacker being found.

In New Delhi, two trains were delayed early on Sunday after officials received information about a possible bomb threat on a train running between the capital and Lucknow to the southeast, railways spokesman Neeraj Sharma said.

Trains were deemed safe and were running on schedule by mid-morning, Sharma said.  

Indian air base attack 'heinous terrorist act': US

 

The deadly assault on the Indian air base near the Pakistan border on Saturday was "a heinous" terrorist attack, the US said, urging the two rivals to work together to hunt down those responsible.

The possible involvement of Pakistan-based militants threatens to derail talks between the two countries.

"The US is committed to our strong partnership with the Indian government to combat terrorism," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement, condemning the assault.

"We urge all countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous act."

 

Last updated:


There are no comments.

LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
MORE NEWS

HAPPENING IN DOHAMore