Indian commandos airdropped over terrorist-held building (Lead)

November 28th, 2008 - 9:34 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 28 (IANS) A 33-hour hostage crisis seemed headed for its final denouement here Friday as Indian special forces commandos Friday morning dramatically slithered down ropes from a military helicopter to the roof of a five-storey building to flush out terrorists holed up there.On the ground, some 100 National Security Guard (NSG) commandos massed in the lane leading to the Nariman House, one of the three buildings seized by the terrorists Wednesday night in what seemed to the final decisive stage of the operation.

The commandos also fanned through the aj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel and the Oberoi-Trident hotel to sanitise them room by room and floor by floor before sounding the all-clear, which officials said, could still be a while away.

Gunshots erupted from the Nariman House around 7 a.m. as the commandos were taking position. A second round of firing was heard about 15 minutes later.

As the operation progressed, the authorities pushed back TV news channel crews from the scene, banning them from beaming live pictures from the scene. The position, however, changed as an Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter arrived on the scene with the commandos.

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