Bhubaneswar Police on Tuesday launched a search operation after four suspected terrorists, claimed to be Iraqi nationals, who fled from a hotel just before a police team swooped down on it.
The four men, with an estimated height of 6.5 feet and speaking in Hindi or English, came to the hotel in a car with a Delhi registration number which turned out to be fake, police said.
“The four persons who fled the hotel before the police reached there could be terrorists. The four suspected terrorists had claimed to be natives of Iraq,” said director general of police (DGP) K B Singh.
Police sources said they had a tip-off regarding foreign nationals who were planning to stay at a budget hotel near the railway station.
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But when a man came to do the booking and the hotel authorities asked for identification, he fled, sources said.
According to rules, guests are required to show identification before they check into a hotel.
There is a nationwide high alert on the occasion of the Republic Day after security agencies claimed there was a “very real” threat from the terror group ISIS.
Over the weekend, 14 suspected ISIS affiliates and sympathisers were arrested from different parts of the country.
The chief guest for this year’s Republic Day is Francois Hollande, the president of France, where ISIS carried out devastating terror attacks last year.
“The four persons wanted two rooms at the Hotel Arya Mahal,” Commissioner of Police RP Sharma said, adding the police got information from the hotel staff who suspected their movement.
The police have seized the CCTV footage from the hotel.
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