Indian armymen at Pathankot terrorist attack site
Indian armymen guard Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force.
“A heavily armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force. Four attackers and two security forces personnel were killed in the initial battle, with an additional security force member dying from injuries hours later. The gun battle and the subsequent combing operation lasted about 17 hours on 2 January, resulting in five attacks and three security personnel dead. The attackers, who were wearing Indian Army fatigues, were suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed, an Islamist militant group designated a terrorist organisation by India, the US, the UK and the UN. The attack was described as a terrorist incident in the Indian and foreign media.
A further three soldiers died after being admitted to hospital with injuries, raising the death toll to six soldiers. On 3 January, fresh gunshots were heard, and another security officer was killed by an IED explosion. The operation continued on 4 January, and a fifth attacker was confirmed killed. The United Jihad Council claimed responsibility for the attack on 4 January.
The hijacking of a car of a superintendent of the Punjab Police the previous day was reportedly linked to the attack; the carjackers did not recognise it as a police car since its lights were turned off. Media reports suggested that the attack was an attempt to derail a fragile peace process meant to stabilise the deteriorated relations between India and Pakistan, as several pieces of evidence were found linking the attackers to Pakistan. In mid-January, Pakistan reportedly arrested several members of Jaish-e-Mohammed, suspected of involvement in the attack.”
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