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Nov 28, 2008 at 04:21pm IST

At least 12 dead at Taj Hotel: Navy commandos

Mumbai: A chief of a Indian Navy commando unit flushing out terrorists at Mumbai's Taj Hotel said on Friday that he saw 12 to 15 bodies in one room.

"We found 12-15 bodies," the commander, whose face was disguised in a black scarf and sunglasses, told a news conference. The commandos found money, ammunition and an identity card from Mauritius thought to have belonged to the terrorists.

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"We recovered $1200, AK series rifles, credit cards and Mauritian national identity card from Taj hotel," the commando chief said.

"We found a bag which contained dry fruits, large amount of ammunition, foreign money (dollars), seven fully filled magazines of AK rifles with extra rounds, grenades of different make, most likely made in China, seven credit cards of ICICI, HDFC, CITI Bank, HSBC etc," he revealed.

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Addressing the media at the Western Naval Headquarters, INS Angre, the Marine Commandos (Marcos) said that there were two teams of commandos, one of which was sent to the Taj while other engaged the terrorists at the Oberoi.

"Taj has around 400 rooms and there was blood all over. To avoid the civilian casualty we had to be careful in our gunfire," he said. "They (the terrorists) didn't cover their face. They were wearing T-shirts and all of them were less than 30 years of age. They must have trained somewhere to use such sophisticated weapons. We are not aware of any RDX being used."

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The commando chief also revealed that the terrorists were very well informed about the layout of the hotels.

"Hotel staff (Taj Hotel) told us that three-four terrorists have gone inside. We got the layout from the staff .We also wanted to know what all explosives were held by these terrorists," he said.

There was lot of smoke into CCTV room and entry was not feasible. The staff indicated that terrorists indicated have gone into new building of Taj. When we tried to enter into the building they started to fire and one commando was injured," he said.

He also pointed out that the operations progressed slowly as the rooms were completely dark, which made it difficult for the commandos.

The operation to flush out the terrorists and rescue the hostages is on at the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and the Nariman House.

At least 125 people have been killed and more than 300 wounded in the terror strikes in Mumbai.

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