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Army readying for final assault, says Maj-Gen

November 27, 2008 18:06 IST

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As the battle against the terrorists who attacked prime multiple locations in Mumbai, raged on, the Army said it was preparing for a final assault to flush out the ultras holed up in the Taj Mahal hotel [Images].

"The National Security Guards is here. They are carrying out a very deliberate operation. They are trained for it and are the best in the country. I have faith in them," Major General R K Hooda, General Officer Commanding, Maharashtra area, told reporters outside the hotel.

While the army will carry out the flushing-out operations in Taj Mahalhotel, the specialised NSG commandos and the naval MARCOS will undertake operations at the Trident hotel, where it is believed that the terrorists are still holding hostage.

Hooda, the top-most Army general in Maharashtra, said operation clean-up at the Taj Mahal hotel will start from the top floor and the personnel will carry out a room-to-room combing operation.

"There are 365 rooms to be searched. All rooms are closed. Every room has to be opened and searched thoroughly," Hooda said.

The Army is doing intervention drills by checking each room of the hotel. "In case the rooms are locked, we ask occupants to open it. And if they do not, the Army will carry out intervention drill with due care. They (personnel) are trained for this," he said.

Hooda, however, did not disclose any time-frame for the operation citing operational secrecy. "Do not speculate on timing. We can't quantify it."

Asked whether his troops had any confrontations with the holed up terrorists, he said, "No engagement has taken place."

But, he said his men had come across trapped hotel guests who have bolted themselves up in their rooms, and efforts were being made to tell them it was safe to come out.

Over 100 people were killed and 300 others injured in the terror attacks in many areas in the metropolis.

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