DINANAGAR (Web Desk) – Three gunmen who fought a 12-hour battle on Monday near the Pakistan border were Muslim, the Punjab police chief said on Tuesday, contradicting speculation that the attack may have been carried out by Sikh separatists.

“The inspection of the bodies shows that the assailants were Muslims,” said Sumedh Singh Saini, director general of police in the state, speaking to reporters at the Dinanagar police station that came under attack.

Four policemen and three civilians were killed in a prolonged battle that began early on Monday morning, the first of its kind in Punjab in more than a decade, NDTV reported.

Mr Saini did not elaborate why police concluded the gunmen were Muslim and declined to confirm whether or not they were from Pakistan, as security sources have suggested.

He said police had not yet identified the assailants, as they were not carrying any identifying papers or documents.

“They had even gone to the lengths of removing the identifying marks on their weapons,” the officer said.

Two GPS devices that police recovered inside the besieged station show a programmed route from the India-Pakistan border to the railway track where five explosives were found on Monday then on to the police station, Mr Saini said.

Another policeman said the first entry in the GPS system was made on the Indian side of the border on July 21, several days before the attack.

Some police sources had said the militants entered from Pakistan two days ago a short distance to the north in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan issued a statement on Monday condemning the assault.