- Title: Families grieve as sons killed in militant attack on Indian air base
- Date: 3rd January 2016
- Summary: AMBALA, HARYANA, INDIA (JANUARY 3, 2016) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (ANI - NO ACCESS BBC) PHOTOGRAPHS OF GARUD COMMANDO GURSEVAK SINGH
- Embargoed: 17th January 2016 21:41
- Keywords: Bengaluru India Pakistan Punjab militant attack Pathankot Soldiers
- Location: BENGALURU, KARNATAKA / AMBALA, HARYANA, INDIA
- City: BENGALURU, KARNATAKA / AMBALA, HARYANA, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0023YHX3D3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
Family members of soldiers who were killed when Indian security forces battled to secure an air base near the border with Pakistan said on Sunday (January 3) that though it's a huge loss for them, they are proud of their loved ones.
Lieutenant Colonel Niranjan, a member of National Security Guard's Bomb Disposal Squad, was killed while defusing a grenade lodged into the body of a dead militant.
A resident of southern Bengaluru city, Niranjan was among seven military personnel killed in an audacious pre-dawn assault on the air force base.
Niranjan's sister Bhagyalakshmi said his brother fought for his motherland.
"On one hand I have lost him, but on the other hand I know he has made us feel proud. But then whatever it is, our loss is a great loss because I feel these people, every year they are losing their lives. They are going to defuse a bomb and you do not know what's going to happen. I mean what risk they are taking," she said.
Security forces battled into Sunday evening, a day after a militant attack that has killed seven military personnel and wounded another 20.
As night fell, it was unclear whether two or more militants were still at large after Saturday's (January 2) pre-dawn raid on the Pathankot air base in Punjab. Four attackers have been confirmed killed.
Meanwhile, in northern Ambala city parents were in shock after being informed about the death of their son Gursevak Singh, a Garud Commando.
"So many soldiers of our country from army and air force are losing their lives every day. I am sad but my son lost his life for his country," said Singh's father.
Five of the seven Indian military reported killed served in the Defence Security Corps, a unit staffed by veterans no longer in active service.
One of the Indian security members killed in the attack was 51-year-old 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 came a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unscheduled visit to Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in an effort to revive talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of previous suspected assaults by Pakistan-based militant groups, underscoring the fragility of recent efforts to revive bilateral talks between the often uneasy neighbours.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Pakistan has condemned the attack and said it wanted to continue to build on the goodwill created by the impromptu meeting between Modi and Sharif last month.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Footage contains photographs or artwork. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing this clip.