NSG rejigs commando training to ensure hostage safety
New Delhi: National Security Guard, which has till now trained its commandos in lethal operations leading to killing of terrorists, has re-oriented its modules in honing skills of the `Black Cats` to ensure hostage safety in counter-terror and hijack scenarios.
Five years after the country`s federal contingency force proved its mettle in combating and killing nine heavily armed Pakistan-based terrorists after a 60-hour siege in Mumbai in 2008, NSG has put its entire thrust on increasing expertise in counter-terror and counter-hijack operations rather than VIP security duties.
After a study of emerging terror threats in urban areas, the commanders of the premier commando force decided to slightly tweak the training of these specially chosen troops and include an "essential component" of hostage rescue in the operations manual.
"The latest example to understand such a scenario is the recent terrorist siege to a mall in Kenya`s Nairobi. The terrorists kept on killing and blazing for few days with people trapped inside the large complex. The special forces operations were restricted because people were held hostage.
"The same situation was seen in Mumbai in 2008 when people were held up in rooms in big five-star hotels. Learning from that experience, the commandos` job is not only to neutralise the terrorist but also ensure that the hostages are safe," says the blueprint of the manual.
It was not that the NSG was not training its strike squads for such a mission but now the stress is on hostage safety as this is what trends in terror incidents worldwide reflect.
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