Top army officer among 11 dead in Indian Air Force base attack

PATHANKOT, India – Four more Indian soldiers – including a top officer – have died of injuries after an attack on an Indian air force base, taking the total death toll to 11, officials said on Sunday.

Seven soldiers in all – including a champion shooter and four attackers – were killed at the Pathankot Air Base, after heavily armed gunmen infiltrated the key station early Saturday.

An Indian army official – who declined to be named – told AFP one of the dead was a lieutenant colonel in the elite commando unit National Security Guard.

The official said the officer and two other soldiers were injured on Sunday when a bomb they were trying to defuse exploded during a search of the site.

Air force spokeswoman Rochelle D’Silva said three of the 12 soldiers injured in the battle died in a hospital on Sunday. “Nine are being treated in hospital and are stable,” she said.

One of those killed – Subedar Fateh Singh – was a gold medallist at the 1995 Commonwealth Shooting Championships in New Delhi, she said. Singh was killed at the start of the gunfight, which lasted nearly 14 hours.

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