Pathankot Attack: 'Operation Dhangu Suraksha To Be Called Off On Thursday'

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Pathankot Attack: 'Operation Dhangu Suraksha To Be Called Off On Thursday'

Seven military personnel were martyred and 20 others were injured in the attack by six terrorists at the Pathankot air base.

Chandigarh:  The operation launched by the Indian Army to neutralise terrorists at the Pathankot Air Force base in Punjab is inching to a close. The operation, called Dhangu Suraksha, is named after the village Dhangu where the base is located.

"The handing over and the taking over of the crucial assets between the army and the air force is likely to take place on Thursday," Western Command chief Army Commander KJ Singh told media at its Chandimandir headquarters in Chandigarh today.

Seven military personnel were martyred and 20 others were injured in the attack by six terrorists which began on Saturday. All six terrorists were killed.

The bodies of four terrorists were moved to the civil hospital in Chandigarh for post-mortem today. They had been lying in an enclosure close to the area where they were killed due to fears that the area may be booby-trapped. While the bodies of two other terrorists remain missing, few of their limbs have been traced and are being preserved for DNA tests.

The Army has still left behind its bomb squad and anti-mining units to clear the area.

Lieutenant General Singh also justified the use of the National Security Guard or NSG in the operation and said they were strategic assets at the air base. There could have been a hostage situation as the second storey of the DSC mess was occupied and there were families living in the vicinity, he said, adding the NSG is trained to handle such situations.

Had there been damage to the runway at the base, it would have been difficult to land the NSG troops, Lieutenant General Singh added.

The Western Command chief said the operation had stretched to such a long period as "we did not want to use heavy fire power considering the proximity of civilian population in the vicinity."

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