4 gunmen, 2 troops dead in attack on Indian air base

2016-01-02 13:38
Indian army soldiers take positions outside the Indian airbase in Pathankot, 430km north of New Delhi, India, January 2, 2016. (Channi Anand, AP)

Indian army soldiers take positions outside the Indian airbase in Pathankot, 430km north of New Delhi, India, January 2, 2016. (Channi Anand, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pathankot - 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.

At 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.

Air 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 equipment.

Press 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.

Pathankot, 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.

Police 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.

Saturday's 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.

The 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.

India 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.

Indian 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."

In 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 forces.

Read more on:    india

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.