A terror attack on an Indian air force base near the border of Pakistan has lead to a somber Saturday in Pathankot, India, with at least 2 troops and 4 gunmen dead, and counting.
The rivalry between India and Pakistan has been long lived, but there had been recent progress in the relations between the two countries as Prime Minister Modi of India made an impromptu trip to Pakistan to meet with Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan, simply two weeks prior to this terrorist attack. Such a visit had not happened in almost 12 years, which was seen as a step towards resolution between the two countries, but with the current state, they have taken several steps back once again. While it is still unclear as to who is behind this terror attack, there have been speculations that it was in retaliation to the recent bonds between the two countries.
The attack began just before dawn at about 3am, as suspected militants raided the Indian air force base in the living quarters section of the base, openly exchanging fire with the security forces for a couple hours. The defence ministry of India stated they had intelligence on the attack due to aerial surveillance, and the air force had been in preparation for an attack, but despite this, at least 2 troops were killed in this battle. Shortly after, in the late morning, the Indian forces were able to shoot down two gunmen, resulting in their deaths. While this seemed like the end of the violent exchange, only two hours later there was more gunfire, and continued, resulting in the remaining deaths. Reports stated that around 9pm (IST) there was no more gunfire heard.
The base is located near Kashmir, the Himalayan region, which is divided between Pakistan and India, and for years has been the cause of much dispute between the countries. Controversy has always sparked in terms of Kashmir, which is currently being speculated as a potential factor to this terrorist attack.
Pakistan’s ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated that they condemned Saturdays terrorist attacks.