Kashmiri separatist group UJC claims Pathankot attack

Indian army soldiers take up position on the perimeter of an airforce base in Pathankot.
PHOTO: AFP

An alliance of Kashmiri militant groups on Monday claimed the deadly attack on the Indian Air Force's Pathankot airbase.

The United Jihad Council (UJC) said in a statement released that the attack was a message to India that Kashmiri fighters could strike at any sensitive installation across India.

"Pathankot air base attack has been carried out by the mujahideen associated with National Highway Squad," said Syed Sadaqat Hussain, a spokesman for UJC.

The UJC comprises over a dozen militant groups fighting Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

It is headed by Syed Salahuddin. This is the first report of the existence of the National Highway Squad.

"Pakistan has nothing to do with the attack but ironically the Indian government, media and their armed forces are suffering from Pakistan phobia," added the UJC spokesman.

The spokesman added that by hurling allegations at Pakistan, India could neither sabotage the struggle of Kashmiri people in the past nor can it do so now.

"It would be better for the Indian leadership to read the writing on the wall and let the Kashmiri people decide thier fate on their own free accord, without further waste of time," elaborated the statement from the UJC .

The attack on the Pathankot airbase started before dawn on Saturday and a gunbattle between the militants and Indian forces is continuing into the third day, with the facility still not declared secure.

At least seven Indian troops and five attackers have been killed in the three days.

Indian Air Force's Pathankot airbase is a mere 50 km from the Pakistan.

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