Mumbai, Nov 28: Major action shifted from the Oberoi-Trident, where most hostages have been rescued, to the Nariman House where 3-4 holed up terrorists are putting up stiff resistance. Two huge explosions were heard amidst incessant gun battle, as the terrorist moved to another part of the building.
Under pressure from the sustained attack by the NSG commandos, the terrorists were forced to move into some rooms leaving behind some ammunition including an AK47 and hand grenades.
With just hours remaining to dusk, the task is cut for the NSG daredevils, who would be looking to wrapping up the operations in daylight. Four people are still believed to be trapped in the building, and their security would be on the mind of the rescue team.
The Police also refused to give a time period in which they felt that all the operations would be able to conclude.
Fierce Assault at Nariman House
NSG commandos, who were airdropped onto the roof of the building, are inside the building and are engaged in a fierce gun battle with the holed up terrorists. There are reports that LMGs, HMGs and rocket propellers have just been sent in to add to the fire power. 20 more NSG commandos have been sent in as reinforcement.
The Army on its part is tight lipped about fatalities or injures(if any). However, the NSG is treading very cautiously. One of the officers said that it might take some more hours before the Nariman House operation gets over.
Earlier, at around 7.30 am, commandos aboard a helicopter first carried out aerial firing on the top floors of Nariman House and then slid down on ropes onto the roof of the building. Close to 20 commandos were a part of the daredevil operation.
The direct attack on the terrorists comes after three fresh explosions were heard from the building in the wee hours of the morning.
Three Israelis were freed early this morning from the building. Incidentally, the Nariman House is a Jewish community centre and is frequented by Israelis.
Explosions at Taj, standoff continues
Meanwhile, a series of explosions, every few minutes, can be heard from the Taj hotel indicating the lone injured terrorist is holding out well equipped with arsenal.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports claimed that a foreign women journalist has been injured in the cross firing.
But the security personnel were able to evacuate some more stranded guests from the backdoor.
Fierce gun battle is on at the Taj at the moment, with the NSG commandos trying to isolate and gun down the lone surviving terrorist, who is believed to be injured. Eleven explosions were heard in a gap of just 15 minutes from inside the building.
While confirming the sequence of events at the Taj, Southern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lt Gen N Thamburaj had said the NSG’s operation is nearing end and it is just a matter of few hours before they “wrap up things”.
Regarding the operation at the Taj, he said only one terrorist is holed inside and he has been cornered. As per the Lt General, the terrorist is moving within the two floors of the hotel, one of which houses the dance floors, and soon we will be able to nab or eliminate him.
Two terrorists were also killed on Thursday evening gunfire taking the total number to seven. The General said we are deliberately carrying out the operation so that the hostages inside the hotel remain safe from the gunfire.
Our commandos are carrying out search operation in every single room and taking the people out to safety.
When asked about the details of NSG commandos operation and casualties he refused to comment saying that this type of information would give details to the terrorists.
He praised his Commandos for the brave effort they have put in. The Air Force and the Navy has also been a great help in carrying out such an operation in a difficult situation, he added.
Trident sanitised, hostages rescued at Oberoi
After nearly 40 hours of intense gun battle, security forces finally met some success as the DG-NSG announced that the Trident was fully cleared and sanitised and that most of the hostages numbering 148 have been rescued from the Oberoi.
The success came soon after the commandos gunned down two terrorists holed up at the five star hotel.
The death toll has mounted to 132, while 327 people have been injured.
How it began
Wednesday, 9.30 pm: First attack at Café Leopold:
It all started just before the 9.30 pm on Wednesday at the Café Leopold in Colaba district of Mumbai. Three men pulled out machine guns from heavysacks and started firing indiscriminately, whoever present there.
10 pm: After Leopold, the attackers took a lane which leads to the prestigious Taj Hotel which is just few meters away. The assailants entered the ground floor area and started firing indiscriminately.
10 pm: At around same time when the Taj was under attack, four men with automatic rifles entered the the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) around 10 pm. Two of them started firing towards the crowd, while two others spotted rushing towards the Metro Cinema multiplex via the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation offices and the nearby Azad Maidan.
10.15 pm: Terrorists came outside the Cama hospital fired erratically.
10.30 pm: Just ten minutes after Trident, a loud bang was heard in Vile Parle, which was occurred in a taxi.
Colaba: At Colaba, men carrying assault rifles opened fire inside the Leopold restaurant and also threw grenade at the innocent civilians. Firing also reported from Hotel Marriott in Colaba.
Nariman House: Exchange of fire at Nariman House, a residential complex with a Jewish prayer hall, was also reported. This was the second place that was attacked in Mumbai, where two men came on a scooter and hurled a grenade at nearby petrol pump.
Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist is being interrogated, who was held this morning. He is said to be associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), a militant group based in Pakistan.
Cache of arms
A huge cache of arms has been recovered outside the Taj, including AK-47s, grenades, bullets and other assorted armaments. Lots of dry fruits were also recovered from the same place.
In a related development, the City mall and the Gallenia mall in Navi Mumbai have been evacuated over fears that terrorists who escaped yesterday might target them.
LeT, LTTE deny involvement
Meanwhile, both the LeT and the LTTE have denied responsibility for the attacks.
Abdullah Ghaznavi spokesperson for the LeT has said that the LeT strongly condemns the strike on Mumbai. He said that though the LeT is often blamed for the such incidents, they have no hand in the strike. He said that an Indian group may be behind the attack.
The Indian government has already indicated that it suspects a foreign hand behind the attacks.