How the attack unfolded
Pathankot, Jan 2: The security agencies had intercepted a number of phone calls late on Friday night, which set alarm bells ringing. It appeared that a group of terrorists were planning to launch an attack at Punjab's Pathankot.
Of the four calls made, three were to handlers in Pakistan, in which the terrorists reported the assault made on a senior police officer in Punjab. In the fourth, an attacker was heard calling his mother, sources said. "I am on a suicide mission," the fourth terrorist was quoted by sources as telling his mother over telephone.
On Thursday, the men, dressed in army fatigues, had hijacked the official vehicle of the police officer in Pathankot.
They had assaulted the officer, pushed him off the car and took away his cellphone. Later, they used his cellphone to contact their handlers in Punjab, sources said.
The handlers were heard asking the men why they "let off" the Superintendent of Police.
The intercepts triggered a whirlwind of activity - a warning was issued and tiol Security Advisor Ajit Doval held a meeting with security officials.
Following orders from the Prime Minister's Office, teams from the tiol Security Guard, Special Forces of the Indian Army and additiol soldiers were moved to various installations at Pathankot.
But notwithstanding the protective measures, the terrorists struck at 3.30 am. The gunbattle, which carried on well-past mid-day claimed the lives of two Air Force persol and one Garuda commando.
Given the advanced information, the terrorists were contained within the periphery of the air base. The army's Casspir armoured personnel carriers were used to close in on the administrative block of the air base, where the terrorists were holed up.
Five terrorists were killed, Home Minister Rajth Singh tweeted after the end of the operation.
The terrorists had crossed into India from the unfenced section of the intertiol border and proceeded towards Punjab, the sources said.