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Terrorists loaded with ammunition, say commandos

Vicky Nanjappa in Mumbai | November 28, 2008 14:11 IST

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It has been a long and tiring battle for the National Security Guards and the Anti Terrorist Squad who are fighting the faceless terrorists inside Nariman House, Taj Mahal hotel [Images] and Trident hotel for more than 48 hours now.

An ATS official and an NSG commando who came outside the Taj Mahal hotel for a breather told that it is a do or die situation inside the hotel. "We have been firing, searching and retreating for a while as the terrorists go back into hiding," they said.

"We have no option but to either kill them or capture them. The manner in which the terrorists are holding fort and retaliating, makes it clear that they are here only for destruction and nothing else. Although they know they will lose in the end, they continue to fight till the end as it look like that is the brief they have been given," the men also say.

The personnel also add that the terrorists are not even trying to negotiate, and this makes it clear that they want to fight till the end.

The operation, according to the personnel, will be a long drawn one because they are using the guests in the hotel as human shields. They have locked up the guests, around 25 in a room, in the Taj Mahal hotel. "Every time we try to get closer they hurl grenades and then we retaliate by firing. Our job is two-fold. Not only do we have to overcome the terrorists, but also ensure that the guests come out safe."

The personnel say the terrorists are loaded with a lot of arms and ammunition. "We initially though that the battle would get over soon as they would run out of ammunition, but now it is clear that they are loaded. However, these men who are carrying AK 47 rifles are using the arms very sparingly. They hurl grenades and go back to the room where they have held the hostages. Although they know they will be overpowered, they still want to give us a fight for as long as possible only to show that they have held an entire country ransom for so long."

Security personnel also do not rule out the possibility of the terrorists trying to escape. However, they are not negotiating and would prefer to fight it out instead.

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