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Security forces in India comb air base as attack enters third day

Soldiers in Pathankot airbase are in the last stages of defusing bombs and securing the area on India's border with Pakistan. Nearly a dozen died after militants attacked the air force station over the weekend.

Army personnel were busy defusing grenades in the final stages of an operation to secure

India's air base in Pathankot

on Monday.

"The air base is large and we have been working all night to ensure that the base is totally in our control," Indian army spokesman Manish Mehta told reporters, adding that his men were working at a "very fast pace."

Military trucks were seen entering and leaving the compound and helicopters flew overhead, news agencies said. Soldiers were still looking for two attackers, reported to be hiding in the air base. At least one of them was alive, Indian broadcaster NDTV said.

Seven soldiers and at least four assailants died in the attack,

which began on Saturday at Pathankot

on India's border with Pakistan. No group claimed responsibility for the strike, but officials suspected Pakistan-based militant groups.

The strike could undermine relations between Islamabad and New Delhi, especially since the latter accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents. Ties seemed to take a turn for the better after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

visited his Pakistani counterpart,

Nawaz Sharif, late last month.

Pakistan has condemned the recent attack in India, saying it wants to build on the goodwill that has recently been generated between the two countries.

mg/se (Reuters, dpa, AP)

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