Pathankot: Army soldiers conduct a search operation in a forest area outside the Air Force Base in Pathankot on Sunday.PTI Photo(PTI1_3_2016_000163B)
Pathankot: Army soldiers conduct a search operation in a forest area outside the Air Force Base in Pathankot on Sunday.PTI Photo(PTI1_3_2016_000163B)

Pathankot: As the counter operation entered its third day today at the Pathankot Indian Air Force Base,The security forces killed one more terrorist during the combing operation at the Pathankot air base on Monday afternoon, taking the total number of ultras killed so far to five, said Defence Ministry sources.

Four terrorists had already been liquidated last evening, following which the security forces launched a massive combing operation to eliminate two more terrorists hiding in the air base.

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi had stated on Sunday that the security forces had confirmed the presence of two more terrorists on the air force station.

Seven security personnel have been martyred so far in the operation.

“The operations for this particular airbase are going on smoothly given the magnitude of this airbase. Joint ops launched by security forces are being conducted in an excellent manner by the NSG, Army, Air Force, Police and intelligence agencies in a combined and synergised manner. We have eliminated four terrorists and the operation to eliminate two more terrorists possibly is in final stage,” Major General Dushyant Singh, NSG addressed the media in a joint presser.

He added that due to the area of the Air Base which is very large and the personal, strategic assets located there, the combing operations are going on simultaneously by the Army and other forces to eliminate the terrorists.

He assured that all the personnel strategic assets are secure and their safety has been ensured and that all the families living in the base are safe.

The Army representative at the presser stated that the terrorists had entered the Base ‘well prepared and heavily armed’ with the aim of targeting the IAF assets which include aircrafts and helicopters located in the vital Air base.

“All these assets have been secured and are safe. There has been no damage to any one of them,” the Army official said.

He added that the Army team which was located in close proximity of the base was on ‘general alert since 1st January’ on the basis of intelligence inputs and had mobilised six columns initially. Two more columns were added subsequently.

“The terrorists opened fire again close to midday and are holed up in a double storey building which were the living quarters of Air Force personnel. Currently, operations are in progress to clear the building. We have ensured that there has been no collateral damage and civilian injuries,” the Army official said. He assured that the situation was under the complete control of the NSG, Army and the Air Force.

Meanwhile, firing and explosions were heard from the base where the counter operation is underway. Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting chaired to discuss the ongoing operation where he was briefed by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval

The Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan scheduled for later this month looks in serious jeopardy with strong indications that the government may call off the engagement if evidence emerges that Pakistan’s state actors were complicit in the attack on Pathankot’s air base.

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