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Two Dead As Gunmen Attack Indian Air Base Near Pakistan

Officials say Indian troops killed four gunmen who had entered an Indian air force base near the border with Pakistan and exchanged fire with security forces in the early hours of January 2.

At least two Indian soldiers were also killed in the gunbattle, local media reported.

The suspected Islamic militant gunmen entered the living quarters section of the Pathankot air force base, but were not able to penetrate the area, which houses fighter helicopters and other expensive military equipment, said air force spokeswoman Rochelle D'Silva.

Pathankot is on the highway that connects India's Jammu and Kashmir state, a hotbed of insurgency, with the rest of the country. It's also very close to India's border with rival Pakistan.

The violence comes amid an effort to restore more peaceful relations between India and Pakistan. A week ago, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.

The two also had an unscheduled meeting at the Paris climate change talks and had decided to start a dialogue to resolve outstanding issues. Their foreign secretaries are scheduled to meet in Islamabad later this month.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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