Pathankot attack: Indian security forces succeeded in their mission to secure assets at the air base because of intelligence inputs, and most of the casualties were suffered only in a flash attack, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.
“The main aim of security forces was to ensure there is no damage to the strategic assets and they succeeded in that. The second aim was to minimise damage, in which also they succeeded to great extent,” Jaitley said.
The comments came as the operations continued, and a fifth terrorist was killed.
“Five personnel died in flash action, when the terrorists attacked first. Only one personnel was killed in the encounter that went on for two days. The Lieutenant Colonel (Niranjan E.K. of NSG) was killed in accident,” said minister.
Jaitley was speaking after a meeting of the National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The minister said the attack was carried out by ‘fidayeen’ or suicide squad.
Queried on the long time taken in the operation, the minister said it was due to the huge amount of explosives with the terrorists and the huge area of the base.
“Such operations continue for long time… the operations in Mumbai (26/11) also continued for a long time,” the minister said drawing parallel.
“The reason why the operation is taking so long is because they had lots of explosives,” he said.
Asked if there was an intelligence failure, the minister denied it.
“The intelligence inputs helped, that is why the attack was contained and the terrorists were contained far from the assets,” Jaitley said.