Heavy gunfire was heard from inside an Indian airbase near the Pakistani border, as a siege on the base spilled into its third day. Indian officials vowed on Monday to kill any remaining attackers inside the base in Pathankot, with at least one gunman thought to still be holed up after a two-day siege had left seven soldiers and six attackers dead. Aljazeera reports:
On Sunday, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters that the last of the fighters had been cornered and would be “neutralised” soon. Al Jazeera’s Faiz Jamil, reporting from New Delhi, said that “some of the gunmen may have been hiding in some of the bunkers or the forested areas surrounding the large military base” before launching the attack.
“Indian officials aren’t sure themselves, but because of the terrain it makes it difficult to determine. Officials are staying tight-lipped about the operation, and don’t want to say how many gunmen exactly are inside because they aren’t sure,” Jamil said.
The attack on the Pathankot air force base started before dawn on Saturday and is considered by some as an attempt to undo recent improvements in the relationship between archrivals India and Pakistan. It comes a week after Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister in 12 years to visit Pakistan. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.