Heavily armed terrorists were prepared for long haul

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Pathankot
  • Updated: Jan 05, 2016 22:12 IST
Security personnel inside the Pathankot Air Force base after the end of the military operation against militants on Tuesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

Though the authorities have yet to reveal the identity of the six terrorists killed in the Pathankot airbase attack, what’s clear is this — they were highly trained and wanted a long fight and heavy damage.

Besides AK-47 rifles and around 40 to 50kg of bullets, the terrorists carried a large number of grenades, explosive vests, under barrel grenade launchers (UBGL) and mortars. The security forces have already recovered three to four dozen assault rifles magazines.

The terrorists who had sneaked into the airbase had wanted to target strategic assets, including choppers and other aircraft, and for that purpose alone carried high-quality explosives, something which even defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who was in Pathankot on Tuesday, admitted.

It is the sheer range of the arms and ammunition, and the quantity, that the terrorists were able to hold on for so long. Security officials say the terrorists, believed to be in their 20s, were highly trained as only then could they have carried so much of explosive material.

Four terrorists were killed hours after the gunfight erupted in the wee hours on Saturday. The fifth and the sixth terrorist were killed on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

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