Gunfire and blasts were heard on Sunday at an Indian Air Force base attacked by militants a day earlier, as security forces hunted two gunmen still at large in the sprawling facility near the border with Pakistan.
A senior federal police official confirmed the gunmen were still holed up in Pathankot air base in Punjab state, a day after the pre-dawn raid in which four attackers and six Indian military personnel were killed.
Indian leaders had already praised the armed forces for their heroism in Saturday’s 15-hour shootout, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying they did not let the “enemies of humanity” who attacked the base succeed.
But that appeared premature on Sunday, as the operation resumed to secure the air base that sprawls across an estimated 14 square km and lies just 25 km (16 miles) from the border with historic rival Pakistan.
Outside the base, rumours had circulated all morning that more gunmen were still active after Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced on Saturday that five terrorists had been “neutralised”. The official body count was only four, however.
Military vehicles were seen entering and exiting the walled compound, including a demining vehicle. Dozens of security guards continued their vigil, while protesters shouted slogans and burned a Pakistani flag nearby.
One of the Indian security men killed in the attack was Subedar Fateh Singh, who won gold and silver medals in the first Commonwealth Shooting Championships held in 1995, the National Rifle Association of India said.
The attack by gunmen disguised as soldiers…