Pathankot: An IED exploded during the combing operation at the Air Force base in Pathankot even as three security personnel injured in the terror attack by Pakistani terrorists succumbed to injuries, taking the death toll of security men killed in the attack to six. An NSG commando was also killed.
While all the four attackers were killed in the day-long gun-battle on Saturday, three security men were also killed in the operation.
Three more Defence Security Corps personnel succumbed to injuries in hospital at night, Defence Ministry sources said on Sunday.
Nine other security personnel including a Garud Commando are recuperating in hospital.
An Improvised Explosive Device planted by the terrorists exploded during the combing operations that continued through the night after heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists attempted to storm the Air Force base on Sunday.
A team of NIA took over the probe into the terror attack.
"The operation is going on at Air Force Station," SHO Sukhjinder Singh told reporters.
The NIA has taken over the probe into the terror attack. Some senior officials of Punjab Police led by DGP Suresh Arora were also present at the base.
Entire area has been cordoned off and top officers of several agencies are camping in the station premises to oversee the operation which is jointly being conducted by several security wings including NIA, NSG and Garud.
A Punjab Police official said the operation will end only after a thorough search and combing operation is completed.
IAF helicopters were also seen flying over the base and nearby areas to assist ground forces in the operations.
In the heavy exchange of fire on Saturday, a commando and two other personnel of the IAF were killed along with four attackers. At least, six security men were also injured.
A thorough search and combing operation, which was going on inside the IAF base and nearby areas, was under progress and various security agencies, including the Army, Indian Air Force, central forces and Punjab Police were involved.
The attackers were believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan and there was speculation that they may belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The terrorists, who are said to have infiltrated three days ago, launched the first ever attack on an Indian Air base at around 3.30 am on Saturday, their obvious targets being MiG-21 fighter aircraft and MI-25 attack helicopters.
The terrorists were carrying Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL), 52 mm mortars, AK rifles and GPS machine.
Based on intercepts, security agencies believe that one Nazeer from Bahawalpur in Pakistan was leading the group.
Defence sources had said that the terrorists sneaked into the nearly 2000-acre air base through a forested area where were confronted by the Quick Reaction Team of Garud commandos.
They managed to go up to 400 metres but were still 700 metres away from the area where fighters were stationed.