Another terrorist killed, more holed up in airbase

Pak working on 'leads' provided by India on Pathankot attack

Another terrorist killed,  more holed up in airbase

The Army and the NSG commandos killed another Pakistani terrorist holed up inside a two-storey building at the Pathankot airbase as the operation spilled over to the third day on Monday with reports of more terrorists inside.

According to a PTI report on Monday night from Islamabad quoting the Foreign Office, whose tone was conciliatory said, Pakistan is working on the “leads” provided by India on the terror attack in Pathankot.

The spokesperson said, “In line with Pakistan’s commitment to effectively counter and eradicate terrorism, the Government is in touch with the Indian government and is working on the leads provided by it.” The statement, however, did not give details of the “leads” provided by India.

In Pathankot, the operation is still underway and will continue for a longer time to rule out any possibility of more terrorists hiding inside the airbase compound which has a massive circumference of 24 km.  The operation has now continued for over 42-hours. 
 
Late in the evening, there were reports that security commandos blew up the building killing one terrorist while the other was buried alive under the debris.

The terrorists had taken refuge in the Air Force housing quarters. The killing of the sixth terrorist has not been confirmed by the security agencies so far. No causality on the side of the security forces was reported on Monday. 

Just when the military operation was assumed to have entered its last leg, gun fire was resumed indicating the possibility of more militants inside.

Security agencies clarified that all strategic air assets and personnel have been secured. There now remains complete ambiguity over the number of terrorists, inside and outside at other locations. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the terrorists may have split into two groups and one group may have managed to enter the airbase before intelligence agencies sounded an alert on January 1.

Until the first 24-hours or more of the operation, there was the possibility of only four terrorists. By the afternoon of January 3, at least two more had surfaced, which is why the security agencies are treading with caution.   

Sources said the operation was taking time since the security forces were viewing the possibility of catching one of the militants alive. Since that was a high risk proposition, the option of eliminating them was exerted.

Security personnel dead
Ever since the operation started in the early hours of January 2, seven security personnel have been killed and more than 20 injured in the gunbattle at the airbase.

A massive manhunt is underway in Punjab to locate if there were more terrorists.
The evidence of Rakesh Kumar, a Gurdaspur-based jeweler and an associate of the SP who were together kidnapped by the ultras, is crucial.

Kumar, who was thrown out of the car after the ultras slit his throat, told the police had heard the terrorists talk to someone on the phone asking them to reach the target.
The panic button was pressed after the SP informed about his brush with the terrorists on January 1, but by then there could have been possibility that the group may have split before the first strike.

NIA team
Meanwhile, the 20-member team of the NIA which is probing the terror strike registered three criminal cases.

First is about the abduction of the SP, second about the killing of the Innova car driver and the third about the terror strike.  

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