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Trident siege unlikely to end soon

Syed Firdaus Ashraf and Prasanna D Zore in Mumbai | November 27, 2008 19:22 IST

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The battle between terrorists and the security forces is likely to continue till mid-night or even till Friday as the terrorists are just unwilling to give up.

They fire at policemen and army commandos whenever they try to get close to them.

At 5 pm, one of the security personnel came under fire when he attempted to enter the Trident (formerly Oberoi) Hotel from the back door. The intensity of fire was so huge that people standing nearly 500 metres away from site panicked.

The commandos now have taken positions at the NCPA building opposite the hotel and are firing from there. They seem to be doing so to divert the attention of the terrorists and allow as many commandos to get inside the hotel. The strategy seems to be to try and make the terrorists expend their ammunition. Unfortunately, no one knows how well equipped the terrorists are and how much ammunition they have.

Another hindrance for commandos is the fact that they don't know how many terrorists are holed up in the hotel.

Meanwhile, guests trapped in the hotel just don't know what to do. If they come out they risk getting caught in the cross-fire. However some are taking the risk and coming out with the help of commandos who have entered the hotel. But since morning not more than a dozen people have came out.

Farooq Shaikh, a tourist driver told, "My client, an Arab, is stuck on the 17th floor. He told me that he has locked his room and is scared to come out. I told him not to take a chance and just lock the door."

One can see many guests waving from their windows to passerby and journalists who have camped since last night.

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