Pathankot: Braving firing and intermittent shooting of mortars by terrorists, National Security Guard (NSG) aided by Garuds and the Army conducted a chain of surgical 'step-by-step' operations to eliminate the six militants and ensured they were contained within a 250-meter radius.
An officer privy to the operation said it was a difficult task as on the one hand they had to secure families, air assets, buildings and on the other to contain terrorists in a specific area and neutralise them.
In the "well coordinated operation" troops managed to secure all air assets and 3000 families housed in the over 1900-acre air base.
"The NSG aided by the Garuds, special forces of IAF, Army conducted step-by-step surgical operational at specific places with some fire power of army to conclude the engagement with terrorists in over 38 hours in the 5-day long operation", a senior officer told PTI.
Although seven persons lost their lives, it is being considered as a coordinated operation and real time one based with air support of attack helicopters, Dhruvs, and ground support of troops armed with infantry combat vehicles, and tanks.
"We feel that this is the most well coordinated operation with NSG, Army, DSC, Garuds and police working in tandem to eliminate militants and secure all assets inside", the officer said.
About 300 'black cat' commandos of NSG, the elite counter-terror force, deployed an assortment of most sophisticated assault weapons and "buster" ammunition tools to neutralise the terrorists who had sneaked into the Air Force base in the border town of Pathankot.
In one of the longest running counter-terror operations in the country, the NSG lost its bomb squad commanding officer Lt Col E K Niranjan.