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Pathankot attack: How ‘Operation Dhangu’ was won
The Army justified the deployment of NSG in the operation against the six terrorists at the Pathankot airbase, saying that the three service chiefs had taken the call jointly so that the elite combat force could deal with any hostage crisis in the airbase which had around 3,000 family members of IAF personnel and 23 trainees from four foreign countries at the time of the attack.Critics have questioned why NSG commandos were flown in from Delhi on January 2 when a large number of Army commandos were available in the border city itself.
Commander of the Army's Western Command Lt Gen K J Singh said the NSG was deployed as it is a force specially trained to deal with a hostage crisis. Apart from family members, 23 trainees from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Myanmar were at the airbase when terrorists struck.Singh said the strategic forward airbase of the IAF at Pathankot remained fully functional all through the 'Operation Dhangu', the codename given to the mission to eliminate the terrorists.