'Due to the effective preparation and coordinated efforts by all the security agencies a group of terrorists were detected by the aerial surveillance platforms as soon as they entered the Air Force Station at Pathankot.'
The Indian Air Force on Saturday said timely intelligence and prompt action foiled the likely plan of terrorists to destroy its valuable assets at the Pathankot air base.
The Pathankot IAF facility, located about 40 km away from the border with Pakistan, has MiG-21 fighter planes and Mi-25 attack helicopters.
In a statement issued nearly 15 hours after a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists stormed the air base, leading to a fierce gun battle in which three IAF personnel were killed along with four terrorists, the IAF said it had intelligence that such an attack would take place.
'Intelligence inputs had been available of a likely attempt by terrorists to infiltrate into the military installation in Pathankot area. In response, preparatory actions had been taken by the IAF to thwart any such attempt,' it said.
'Due to the effective preparation and coordinated efforts by all the security agencies a group of terrorists were detected by the aerial surveillance platforms as soon as they entered the Air Force Station at Pathankot,' the IAF added.
'The infiltrators were immediately engaged and contained within a limited area, thus preventing them from entering the Technical zone where high value assets are parked.'
'Through timely and prompt action by all agencies, the likely plan of the terrorists to destroy valuable assets of the Air Force has been foiled,' the IAF said.
IMAGE: Army vehicles move towards the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot. Photograph: PTI