Gunmen Launch Deadly Attack on Indian Air Base

Three reported killed by suspected militants
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2016 1:29 PM CST
Gunmen Launch Deadly Attack on Indian Air Base
Indian army soldiers take positions outside the Indian air base in Pathankot during an attack by suspected militants on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Two members of India's security forces and a civilian were killed Saturday when gunmen stormed the Pathankot air base near India's border with Pakistan, CNN reports. The New York Times and AP are stating at least four shooters have been killed, while CNN claims all five of the suspected militants are dead. The shootout on the base lasted for approximately 15 hours. According to the AP, India's security forces were able to keep the shooters away from areas containing helicopters and other military equipment. "I congratulate the nation's security forces for turning the intentions of our country's enemies into dust," India's Prime Minister Modi says. "They didn't let them succeed. And I salute the martyrdom of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives."

Indian officials had been tipped to a possible attack, and security at the base had been increased in response, CNN reports. According to the AP, the shooters were spotted by aerial surveillance immediately upon entering the base near security force living quarters. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, many see it as an attempt to undo recent progress in relationships between India and Pakistan. The Times reports Modi met with Pakistan's Prime Minister Sharif just over a week ago. It was the first meeting between the countries' leaders in a dozen years. India has accused Pakistan of supporting militants in the area in the past. Saturday's attack was condemned by Pakistan in a statement. (More India stories.)

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