Nearly three days after a group of terrorists attacked an Indian Air Force base in Punjab's Pathankot, the combing operation conducted by the security forces entered its final stage on Monday, according to reports. The government said that two terrorists were killed by the forces on Monday, in addition to the four killed on Saturday.

However, the National Security Guard, which is involved in the combing operations, confirmed only five terrorists having been neutralised. The total number of gunmen involved in the attack is also unclear. Neither the government nor the security forces involved were ready to declare the counter-terror operations over.

This is how the story unfolded today:

7.25 pm: ANI has reported that the Pathankot terror attack case has been transferred to the National Investigative Agency. A 20-member NIA team led by an Inspector General-ranking officer has already been supervising the investigations at Pathankot since Sunday.

5.40 pm: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that the process of recovering the last two terrorists' bodies is going on. He added that the combing operation is taking time since the circumference of the air base is 24 kilometres.

While Jaitley's comments imply that six terrorists have been killed, the NSG has so far confirmed only five having been neutralised. An NSG official said that given the magnitude of the airbase, operations will continue "till we fully render the base safe".

5.20 pm: The United Jihad Council, which is a conglomerate of militant outfits, claimed responsibility for the Pathankot attack. UJC leader Syed Sadaqat Hussain said that the attack was carried out by "Kashmiri militants associated with [the] highway squad".

4.10 pm: PTI has quoted top sources as saying that the central government is "mulling options" regarding holding Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan in Islamabad on January 15.

4 pm: Security agencies told PTI that the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot Air Force base may have entered the premises before an alert was sounded. They also said that crucial hours were lost in verifying a Punjab Police official's claims about his abduction by the attackers a day before the raid.

The security agencies also suspect there were six terrorists divided into two groups – one of four and the other with two members.

3.35 pm: China has condemned the Pathankot Air Force base attack, saying it might have been launched intentionally to disrupt momentum in Indo-Pak relations, reported PTI.

3.20 pm: ANI has reported that a fifth terrorist has been killed by the security forces at the Pathankot Air Force base, with a combing operation still going on. There is still no confirmation on the exact number of terrorists involved in the attack. Four terrorists were killed by the security forces on Saturday.

2.20 pm: The Punjab Police has arrested three people in Mohali with arms, ammunition and a Pakistan mobile SIM card, according to reports. The police said they had links with smugglers across the border, along with having many cases of murder registered against them. It isn't clear whether the three people are connected to the Pathankot attack.

1 pm: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's visit to China has been cancelled due to the attacks in Pathankot's air force base.

12.35 pm: Loud explosion heard in the area where the two remaining terrorists are hiding.

12.15 pm: Major General Dushyant Singh, NSG, says joint operations have been launched due to the large expanse of the air force base. Two terrorist remain inside the camp and the operation may take much longer. The operation is currently to clear the building where the terrorists are hiding. Singh added that the safety of everyone, including families, inside the base has been ensured.

11.55 am: Officials told media it is now clear that the terrorists entered the base in two separate groups. The second group fell behind, and attacked the base only on Sunday.

11.45 am: The National Investigation Agency will be registering a case against Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is behind the attack on the air force base.

11.25 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi convenes a meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

10.30 am: Haryana Chief Minister condoled the death of Gursewak Singh and announced compensation to his family worth Rs 20 lakh.

10.15 am: The remains of special forces Garud Commando Gursewak Singh, who also died in the attack, have been taken to Garnala.

10 am: Remains of NSG Lt Col taken to Bengaluru, where people pay tribute to him.

9.40 am: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announces compensation for National Security Guard Lt Col Niranjan.

8 am: Fresh troops deployed in Pathankot air base, and more gunfire is reported. Combing operations have begun for the second day, as well.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with his top officials on Sunday night, the gun battle in Pathankot air base continued for a second night. Two terrorists remained and the number of casualties in the attack rose to seven on Sunday.

The Centre on Sunday night said the operation was not over yet, after it had announced that it had ended on Saturday night. On Sunday, officials said the terrorists had been prevented from reaching their main target, which was the technical area of the airport, reported The Indian Express.

Sunday’s attack began around 1 pm, and continued through the night. Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi addressed the media on Sunday evening and confirmed the presence of two more terrorists at the air base. Five security personnel were injured when a grenade blew up during search operations within the air base. In total, eight air force officers and 12 National Security Guard officers have been injured. Pathankot was also heavily secured, with around 1,000 police personnel remaining on guard in parts of the town, reported The Times of India.

Hindustan Times reported that two separate teams of terrorists may have attacked Pathankot and that the two terrorists who launched Sunday’s attack may have remained hidden on Saturday. Reports now suggest that the attack may affect talks scheduled this month between India and Pakistan foreign secretaries. Hindustan Times said that India may postpone the talks to give Pakistan time to crack down on Jaish-e-Mohammed, the militant outfit behind the attack.