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Asia-pacific

Masked commando says gunmen showed "no remorse"

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-28

A masked commando, who belonged to India's elite Marine Commando Force, battled the gunmen that took hold of the Taj Mahal Palace. He said they showed "no remorse."

An Indian marine commando who battled Islamic militants room-to-room in a Mumbai hotel said on Friday the guerrillas showed no remorse and fired at anyone who moved.

"They were the kind of people with no remorse -- anybody and whomsoever came in front of them they fired," the masked commando, who belonged to India's crack Marine Commando Force known as MARCOS, told reporters.

"We could have got those terrorists but for so many hotel guests," he said.

"The bodies were lying strewn here and there. There was blood all over and in trying to avoid the casualty of those civilians, we had to be that much more careful," he said.

The account was the first of the fighting given by a member of the elite operations unit.
  
"When an exchange of fire takes place in darkness and there are bodies strewn all over, and blood all over, you're actually not looking who is injured or killed.

"You're just looking for someone with lots of weapons on him," he said.

He said the commandos had been hampered by not knowing the layout of the 400 rooms in the Taj Mahal Palace, one of the hotels attacked by the militants, and that the exchanges of fire had taken place in darkness.

He said that he had seen "15 odd bodies" in one location.

The guerrillas would have needed training to fire the weapon they used, he said.

"Definitely it appears not everybody can fire the AK series of weapons," he said just minutes before heavy firing again erupted outside the Taj hotel.
  
Media reports have said security agencies believe the multiple attacks were staged by the Islamic guerrilla group Lashkar-e-Taiba which operates from Pakistan.


Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that elements in Pakistan were responsible for attacks, the Press Trust of India reported.

Along with the Taj Mahal hotel, the Oberoi/Trident hotel was seized by gunmen in a wave of coordinated attacks across Mumbai that began late Wednesday and has left at least 130 people dead
 

Date created : 2008-11-28

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