India on Saturday woke up to the news of a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Base in Punjab, where four terrorists were shot dead. Reports suggest that the intelligence agency had information about the attack because of which quick action could be taken to fight the terrorists.
The IAF base is around 250 km Chandigarh and about 30 km from the border area with Pakistan.
This is the second major attack on Punjab after the attack in Gurdaspur in February 2015.
Here's all you need to know about the incident:
- Unconfirmed reports said two IAF security personnel were killed and six others were injured in the terror attack that started around 3.30 am.
- Search is on for the fifth terrorist.
- According to CNN-IBN reports, the attackers came to Pathankot in two cars and probably crossed the border on 30 December.
- While the gunbattle has stopped, CNN-IBN reports quoted Punjab officials as saying that there were combing operations on in the area. Sporadic firing is still being heard inside the airbase, and according to reports choppers were seen shooting inside the base. Grenade blasts were also heard from inside the airbase.
- National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval was also monitoring the terror attack from New Delhi, sources told IANS.
- An NIA team has reached the spot. Sources told PTI that as per the standard operating procedure, an NIA team is rushed to the site where terror strike takes place so that they can share their expertise as well as have first-hand information about the case.
- Security forces were put on high alert in Pathankot in Punjab's frontier district Gurdaspur on Friday after a senior police officer said he and his associates were seized by five armed men in army fatigues.
- Salwinder Singh, a superintendent of police, said he and his associates were going in his multi-utility vehicle to a religious shrine on Thursday night when they were signalled to stop by the five men.
- The terrorists who had planned to damage the frontier air force base where fighter squadrons were stationed. "The terrorists were contained in one area of the air force station. They could not reach near the technical area of the air force station where IAF aircraft and other assets are located," a Punjab Police official stationed near the IAF station told IANS.
- The attackers were met with strong resistance from the security personnel who were already alert to the possibility of an attack, top sources said in Delhi, adding that the terrorists therefore could not enter the air base and managed to reach only to the langer area on the outside.
- The attackers were dressed in army fatigues like they had done in the Gurdaspur attack early last year.
- Police told PTI that helicopters, NSG commandos and SWAT teams have been engaged to kill the militants.
- Security establishment was already on alert and anticipating an attack after an SP of Punjab police was abducted by a group of armed men in army uniform on Thursday night. The attackers thrashed the officer before dumping him from vehicle.
- There were intelligence reports that terrorists could attack defence installations in the region around the New Year.
- The attack was launched soon after a combing operation was carried out by the army on Friday in the area between Air base installation and Chakki river.
- CNN-IBN reported that the PMO reviewed the security situation of the country after the attack in a meeting with the Home Ministry, Defence Ministry and NSA.
- The Pathankot-Jammu highway was put on high alert. The entire area near the IAF station was sealed. "High alert has been sounded in Kathua district and entry into the state from neighbouring Punjab at Lakhanpur is being monitored and checked," said a senior police official in Jammu.
- Key security meeting takes place in South Block. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, all service chiefs attending meet.
With inputs from agencies