Pathankot attack investigators unsure if 4 or 6 terrorists attacked IAF base

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Investigators probing Pathankot attack have cast doubts over the number of terrorists involved in January’s Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian security personnel.

The National Security Guard, whose role in last month’s anti terror operations had come under sharp scrutiny had maintained it killed six militants.

The home ministry has reportedly said that it could only recover the bodies of four terrorists and was waiting for the forensic report to assess if indeed there were two more terrorists involved in the attack.

“After neutralising four terrorists, the second ‘encounter’ with ‘two more terrorists’ took place on the ground floor of a two-storey building at the airbase. Since the building was demolished, we could find only ashes which may have pieces of flesh from the bodies of the dead terrorists.

The ashes have been sent for forensic analysis to look for human DNA,” Hindustan Times quoted a senior home ministry official requesting anonymity.

The home ministry source further added, “But the question is why not even a single shred of cloth worn by the terrorists was found in the ashes? When the bodies of terrorists would have fallen, at least the pieces of clothes on the underside should have survived. During the mopping up operation, shreds of heavy bedclothes were found, but there were no fragments of garments like the military dresses that the other four terrorists were wearing.”

The NIA, which is investigating the attack, is likely to take stock of evidence gathered from the site all over again. Its chief Sharad Kumar is likely to visit the Pathankot airbase next week again to have fresh look at the evidence gathered in the case by his investigators, added the HT report.

 

What has given credence to the theory that there were only four terrorists is the fact that investigators have only been able to recover four assault rifles and three pistols from the bodies of four terrorists who were killed in the first 24 hours of the encounter.

“So, where are the rifles or pistols from which the two other terrorists were shooting? The second encounter went on for another 30 hours. No weapon was recovered from the second encounter site,” an anonymous investigator told the paper.

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