India will attack Pakistan in 2016

New battles on military base in India

A total of six security forces and six attackers have been killed in the attack in Pathankot in the state of Punjab since Saturday morning, the authorities said, according to the Reuters news agency. The German press agency, on the other hand, speaks of seven soldiers killed and four attackers dead.

According to the information, a group of suspected extremists broke into the sprawling base 25 kilometers from the border with Pakistan early on Saturday morning and shot around. The men wore military uniforms and were believed to have come from Pakistan, it said. Gunshots and explosions could also be heard on Sunday. In fact, no one has so far confessed.

The Indian government said it had intelligence information that members of a militant Islamist group wanted to attack the air force base in Pathankot. The army was prepared and was therefore able to prevent the extremists from reaching the fighter planes and helicopters.

Heightened alert in India

The attack is reminiscent of a raid on a police station in a border town in Punjab last July, in which nine people were killed. India had also blamed insurgents who had invaded from Pakistan for this attack.

There is a high level of alert at numerous train stations, bus stations and airports in India. Numerous trains were delayed after the police received threats that a bomb was hidden on a train from New Delhi to Lucknow, some 500 kilometers away. The train was evacuated and searched with sniffer dogs.

Step backwards in the reconciliation process?

The attack could hamper efforts to revive dialogue between arch-rivals Pakistan and India. It was only about a week ago that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif a visit, raising hopes of rapprochement.

Pakistan and India have waged three wars against each other since independence from Great Britain in 1947. Both neighboring countries have nuclear weapons. The Pakistani government condemned the attack and at the same time reaffirmed its willingness to speak.

chr / gri (rtr, dpa)