After failing to give a clear picture of the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase for more than 24 hours, the Centre attempted damage control on Sunday by fielding senior officials in New Delhi and Pathankot. However, it still left many questions unanswered and speculation continued on the attack.
In Delhi, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said he was giving “authentic” information, and the operation at Pathankot was not over. He said the forces came to know about the presence of two more terrorists only at 12.20 p.m. on Sunday when the security personnel were fired upon from two directions.
Air Marshal Anil Khosla, Director-General (Air Operations) of the Indian Air Force, said the firing started when bodies of the terrorists were being retrieved. In the evening, Air Commodore J.S. Dhamoon, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Pathankot, said the operation would continue till the airbase was cleared of any intruder.
“We are sure that there are at least two more terrorists inside, as firing has come from two different places. But we are not sure whether there are more. We will come to know of the number of terrorists only after the completion of the operation and body count,” Mr. Mehrishi said.