MUMBAI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- India's longest terror nightmare that lasted for almost 59 hours ended Saturday as commandos from the National Security Guard (NSG), the Indian Army and the Indian Navy eliminated three militants who had taken over the iconic Taj Mahal hotel.
"Finally, we have been able to win the battle and do the job (assigned to us)," NSG head J.K. Dutt told reporters.
Firefighters make efforts in front of the Mumbai Taj hotel in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 29, 2008. The final encounter at the Mumbai Taj hotel ended at about 8:20 a.m. local time Saturday morning, reported local TV channel Headlines Today.(Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
Plumes of thick, black smoke billowed out of the ground floor windows at the hotel's northern end after two retail outlets were torched Saturday to smoke out the militants.
Some 200 commandos from the NSG, the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Mumbai police launched the attack, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) reported.
Saturday was the culmination of a four-day anti-militant operation that began Wednesday evening when several armed men, probably two dozen and armed with grenades and automatic rifles, sneaked into the city by boat.
Police later said that the militants divided themselves into several groups and quickly struck several places in south Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal hotel, the nearby Oberoi-Trident hotel and a Jewish center.
They shot at people indiscriminately and hurled grenades, killing over 150 people.
Firefighters make efforts in front of the Mumbai Taj hotel in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 29, 2008. The final encounter at the Mumbai Taj hotel ended at about 8:20 a.m. local time Saturday morning, reported local TV channel Headlines Today. (Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
On Friday, the commandos first took control of the Oberoi hotel and then the Jewish center. Thousands living all around the building took to the streets, shouting slogans and hailing the security forces.
But the three gunmen at the Taj Mahal held on despite being outnumbered by well-trained commandos.
A total of 25 explosions, small and big, were heard in the hotel all through Friday, and gunfire rattled the hotel and fires frequently erupted from different rooms, IANS reported.
Scores of hostages, many of them westerners, Friday finally walked out of the two hotels and the Jewish center after two nights and days of trauma and a narrow brush with death. A few broke down while others were too stunned to react when the commandos found them, hiding in their rooms, IANS said.
The NSG lost two men, and 14 Mumbai police personnel were killed including the head of its Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Hemant Karkare.
Fourteen militants were killed, while one has been captured, according to the IANS.
Special forces soldiers relax in front of the Mumbai Taj hotel in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 29, 2008. The final encounter at the Mumbai Taj hotel ended at about 8:20 a.m. local time Saturday morning, reported local TV channel Headlines Today. (Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
NEW DELHI, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- At least 13 foreigners were killed and 22 injured in the Mumbai terror attacks since it happened Wednesday night, officials said Saturday.
The earlier data released by India's Home Ministry on Friday said that eight foreign nationals were dead. The deceased included three German nationals, two Americans and one each from Japan, Canada and Australia. Full story
Indian soldiers and policemen enter the Nariman House to rescue the hostages in Mumbai's Jewish centre, Mumbai, Inida on Nov. 28, 2008. (Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
MUMBAI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The terror war on Mumbai is on the verge of ending Friday night with security forces securing the 5-star Oberoi hotel and a Jewish Centre -- Nariman House, but gunmen continued to hold out inside the Taj hotel at the end of pitched combat that left 30 hostages dead.
At the Nariman House, a residential complex housing a prayer hall, commandos were air dropped from helicopters in a first such operation ever. Two militants were killed but not before five of the hostages were eliminated by them.
Indian National Security Guard (NSG) commandos are seen on the roof of a Jewish centre in Mumbai in this frame grab fron Star TV footage November 28, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
MUMBAI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- "I don't know what was happening," an unidentified woman, who was among some 50 people, mainly foreigners, escorted out of the Oberoi-Trident hotel here Friday after being confined to their rooms for more than 36 hours.
The entire group was taken in a bus to the trauma center of the Bombay Hospital for precautionary tests.
Mumbai, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- A hostage crisis continued in Mumbai, India, with over 10 hostages still in Taj Hotel and another 100 people being believed to be trapped in Oberoi Hotel, police said Friday.
It's over 36 hours since Mumbai was taken over by terrorist attack. And there's still no end to the nightmare.