Pathankot airbase attack: Kashmiri group claims responsibility

An umbrella group of Kashmiri militants has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on an Indian military facility that stretched over days.

While United Jihad Council, a group based in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said that it had orchestrated the attack, a report by CNN affiliate CNN-IBN cites government sources that deny the group’s involvement.

At least seven security personnel and one civilian, along with at least four militants, died in the attack on the Pathankot airbase, which started Saturday. A Defense Ministry spokesman told CNN Tuesday that “combing operations” were ongoing, but declined to confirm whether all the militants, some of whom were understood to have been holed up at the facility, had been killed or apprehended.

The home ministry initially said the attack was contained the same day, however it later emerged that militants were still at the site.

On Monday, operations to “eliminate” two remaining militants were “possibly … in the final stages,” a National Security Guard official said at a press conference at the facility, near the border with Pakistan.

Officials said they had received intelligence about a possible attack and had beefed up security at the airfield and repulsed the attackers before they reached any sensitive areas.

The Indian government official earlier said security forces had killed four of the attackers, adding that one was believed to be holed up in the facility.

“Through timely and prompt action by all agencies, the likely plan of the terrorists to destroy valuable assets of the Air Force has been foiled,” the Indian Defense Ministry had said in a statement at the time.

As the attack continued, authorities in New Delhi also ramped up security.

“We are taking all precautionary measures. Security has been tightened,” Rajan Bhagat, the city’s police spokesman, said Monday.

In a Twitter post, Delhi’s police commissioner B.S. Bassi advised residents to immediately report suspicious activity, people and objects to authorities.

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