MUMBAI, 29 Nov 2008: Indian commandos freed the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel this morning after a gruelling battle with heavily armed militants.
The long-drawn battle ended at about 8am local time after three of the remaining terrorists were killed, about 60 hours after seizing the hotel.
Yesterday, two of the militants were killed. They were part of about 20 to 30 armed men believed to have stormed the hotel on 26 Nov night.
Security officials said two of the militants were on internship at the hotel for the last 10 months while two of their gang members booked into a deluxe room three days before the attack.
“We cannot say the operation is over. Although we killed three terrorists today, as per media report, there may be (more) who are still holed up inside and our snipers are doing door-to-door checking.
“It took us a long time because they were well-trained terrorists,” National Security Guard (NSG) director-general JK Dutt told reporters after the operation today.
“There were reports in the media and reports from persons staying inside that there was not just one (terrorist)… there could be up to five terrorists.
“We have been saying that there are at least three terrorists (remaining) inside. We have got three terrorists bodies today,” he added.
He said NSG commandos would comb the entire hotel in the next few hours to check for dead bodies and survivors.
Officials fear some guests are still trapped inside.
Fire broke out in some parts of the hotel this morning after militants blasted hand grenades towards end of the battle but firemen managed to douse them.
The hotel suffered major damaged. — Bernama