Occasional sound of firing and a blast was heard from inside as the counter offensive by security forces neared 60 hours.

"The operations will continue till all the personnel, assets and structure are physically combed. So it is likely to take a long time," a NSG official said. "These terrorists are holed up in a double-storeyed building which is a living accommodation of the air force personnel. The operations are on to clear this building from the terrorists," cited Brigadier Anupinder Singh.

The officers said the terrorists had come well prepared and were heavily armed with the aim of targeting strategic assets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the frontier base where a MIG-21 Bison fighter squadron and MI-35 attack helicopters are stationed.

Alsor read: 60 hours and still counting; Pathankot attack India's longest gunbattle
A search operation was also on in nearby villages for possible terrorists. There were reports of raids by security agencies at some other places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.Saturday's audacious terror attack started at 3.30 am.  Six terrorists were killed. The security forces have lost seven personnel. The army, NSG and IAF officers said the operation would continue till the combing of the air base was completed.

NSG and army commandos conducted a thorough mopping of the entire area where the terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan and trained by the outlawed Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) outfit, had been cornered, the police stated. IAF helicopters flew through the night over the air base to assist  ground forces.

"Army and paramilitary forces have surrounded the entire base, which is spread over a huge area and has undulating terrain, buildings and forest area which have to be searched very carefully to avoid casualties. That is why the operation is taking longer time to complete," a Punjab Police officer said.

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