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Militants storm Pathankot air base

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Terror revisited Punjab in the early hours of Saturday after heavily-armed militants in army fatigues stormed into the Air Force base in Pathankot, barely 45 km from the Pakistan border.

Four militants and three security personnel were killed in the gunbattle that lasted nearly 13 hours.

The militants were cordoned off from the technical area, which foiled their attempt to damage aircraft and other Air Force assets.

A pre-dawn aerial surveillance spotted their movement as the militants were trying to enter the heavily-guarded premises.

The attack is believed to be orchestrated by Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based outfit headed by Maulana Masood Azhar, one of the three terrorists that India freed to facilitate release of 176 passengers aboard an hijacked Indian Airline flight in 1999.

The slain militants were all in their 20s and they crossed over a water body to reach the periphery of the air base before opening indiscriminate fire. This is the second terror strike that Punjab has witnessed from across the border in the last five months since the Dinanagar terror strike in July. Like in the previous attack, the militants crossed over from Pakistan, this time around New Year Eve.




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