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Indian Defence Minister admitted some gaps that led to the attack

06 January, 2016

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NEW DELHI: Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar admitted on Tuesday to “blind spots” and “some gaps” that led to the attack on the Pathankot airbase.

Addressing a press conference at the airbase, Mr Parrikar, who was accompanied by Indian army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, said the terrorists were armed with AK 47s, under-barrel grenades, knives, Swiss knives, commando knives and at least 40 to 50kg of bullets, besides three to four dozens of magazines.

He said the terrorists were firing the mortars from modified under-barrel guns. The bodies of two terrorists were badly charred and their parts recovered from two different places.

The minister said that the National Investigation Agency, after getting DNA tests on the parts twice, had confirmed that the sixth terrorist was also dead.

In a related development, CNN-IBN news channel reported that a former officer of the Indian Air Force is believed to have leaked information about the airbase to a Pakistani woman.

It quoted unnamed sources as saying that Airman Sunil Kumar who was based in Pathankot was arrested for passing information about the airbase to the woman in 2014. His e-mails to Meena Raina led to his arrest.

“Sunil was being paid for the information he passed on to the Pakistani woman. However, the investigators did not file a charge-sheet against him within the stipulated time,” the channel said. In the last two months, 14 people linked to the armed forces have been arrested for spying, the channel said. They allegedly leaked information about the army base in Gwalior and air force stations in Bathinda and Jaisalmer in return for jobs or money, it said.

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