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Home Ministry Flip-flops on Number of Terrorists Killed in Pathankot Attack

Arunima | CNN-News18 Arunima24

First published: November 29, 2016, 4:51 PM IST | Updated: November 29, 2016
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Home Ministry Flip-flops on Number of Terrorists Killed in Pathankot Attack
File Photo: Pathankot Airbase

New Delhi: How many terrorists attacked the Pathankot air base earlier this year? The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday flip-flopped over the answer with Minister of State Hansraj Ahir first telling Parliament that the number was four, and red-faced MHA officials scrambling hours later to clarify that he had got his facts wrong.

Ahir’s statement was contrary to what Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha on March 16, that six terrorists had attacked the air base.

Later in the day, MHA sources told CNN-News18 that a clarification will be issued on Wednesday sticking to the number in Rajnath’s statement.

Singh had then said that the confusion over the number of terrorists allegedly killed by security forces at a billet whose remains could not be found had been resolved. He claimed that two terrorists were killed there.

“Some charred remains were found there (billet). A forensic report about them has been received. The report makes it clear that those inside the building were two terrorists,” Singh had said.

Ahir made the revelation while responding to Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu. "Four terrorists entered via Ravi river bridge, Junial Road in Gulpur Simli village, Akalgarh, and attacked air base," he said.

On day one of the Pathankot attack, Singh had tweeted that 4 terrorists had been killed and the operation was over.

Government later said that two more terrorists were hiding and the operations were extended by four more days.

Recently, the government had ordered NDTV India channel to go off the air for disclosing information about the remaining two terrorists even as the operation was underway.

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