Gunmen raid Indian air base near Pakistan; pair die


At least four gunmen entered an Indian air force base near the border with Pakistan on Saturday morning and exchanged fire with security forces, leaving two of them dead, officials said.

The gunmen entered the living quarters section of the Pathankot air force base, about 430 km (267 miles) north of New Delhi, but were not able to penetrate the area with fighter helicopters and other equipment, said air force spokeswoman Rochelle D’Silva.

At least two of the attackers were killed and security forces were exchanging fire with the other two, she said.

Pathankot is on the highway that connects India’s insurgency wracked Jammu and Kashmir state with the rest of the country. It’s also very close to India’s border with rival Pakistan.

Saturday’s attack comes just a week after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unannounced visit to Pakistan to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The visit was seen as a potential sign of thawing relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. The two heads of government also had an unscheduled meeting at the Paris climate change talks.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the violence, which began in 1989.