Enemies of humanity carried out the attack: PM
"... our security forces did not let them succeed ... proud of our jawans and security forces," he said in Mysuru, referring to Pakistani terrorists' pre-dawn strike at the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab.
The fierce gunbattle claimed the lives of three security men, while five infiltrators were killed, with the terror strike coming days after Modi's surprise stopover in Lahore in signs of thawing of relations with Pakistan.
"Today, enemies of humanity who can't see India progress tried to strike at our strategic area, a prominent airbase at Pathankot. I appreciate our armed forces and thank them for foiling our enemy's attempt," Modi said, adding "our security forces did not let them succeed." "I want to assure our countrymen that our armed forces have the strength to defeat the evil designs of our enemy," he said.
Congratulating the armed forces "who are always ready to protect the country", he said if the country speaks out with unity, the "hopes of our enemies will get destroyed".
"I feel proud of our armed forces", said the Prime Minister in his speech at the birth centenary celebrations of Dr Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamiji of Suttur Mutt which runs a string of educational institutions benefitting nearly a lakh students.
Earlier, in the wee hours of Saturday, heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists attempted to storm the Air Force base in Punjab's Pathankot, triggering a daylong gunbattle in which three security men and all the five infiltrators were killed, days after Modi's surprise stopover in Lahore.
With the obvious intention of destroying fighter jets and attack helicopters housed there, the group of terrorists in combat fatigues attempted to storm the base which is barely 35km from the international border with Pakistan. However, they failed to go beyond the outer periphery.
In heavy exchange of fire, a commando and two other personnel of the IAF were killed along with all the five attackers. At least, six security men were also injured.
The attackers were believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan and there was speculation that they may belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad headed Maulana Masood Azhar of the Kandahar hijack episode.
The terrorists, who are said to have infiltrated three days ago, launched the first ever attack on an Indian Air base at around 3.30am, their obvious targets being MiG-21 fighter aircraft and MI-25 attack helicopters.
Home minister Rajnath Singh did not rule out the possibility of involvement of Pakistan-based JeM terror outfit in the attack.
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