|Nariman secured, Taj ops on|
2008-11-28 [22:25:12 hrs]
|In a major breakthrough NSG commandos successfully eliminated all three terrorists holed up in Nariman House. With Oberoi-Trident and Nariman House secured, the commandoes have launched a final assault at the Taj.|
|The news was confirmed by DG NSG J K Dutt after an intensive operation followed up by a thorough search and sanitisation process.|
Earlier, two terrorists had been eliminated and only one was holding out on the third floor. But after a sustained attack by the security forces he too succumbed.
Search operations were then conducted to ensure no remnants of terror.
The commandos had found two bodies on the second floor taking the count of the civilian fatalities to five.
The operation had reached a decisive phase following a controlled explosion in the outer wall of the fourth floor of the building that paved way for the commandos to push in and gun down the terrorists. The lights of the area had been switched off and flood lights were being utilized by the forces.
The commandos had gained ground earlier when they were able to clear the fifth floor completely forcing the terrorists to move down. The forces also recovered some ammunition including an AK47 and hand grenades.
But the militants had put up stiff resistance by intermittently hurling grenades.
With dusk fast approaching, the task was cut for the NSG daredevils, who were looking to wrapping up the operations in daylight.
The entire operation took more than 47 hours and was perhaps one of the most difficult to conclude. The building is located in a very congested area and severely restricts movement. Moreover there was a danger of the terrorists shifting to other buildings.
NSG commandos, who were airdropped onto the roof of the building, were given additional ammunition as more LMGs, HMGs and rocket propellers were sent in the afternoon.
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 came 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.
Final leg at Taj
The terror drama that began at Taj nearly two days ago is still continuing even as the situation has been brought under control completely in all other parts of Mumbai.
According to the Naval Chief Sureesh Mehta, the assault on the terrorists still holding out in this last bastion has entered a decisive phase and the joint operation is fast moving towards success.
The Taj building took a grave beating today as the miscreants lobbed grenades one after the other incessantly throughout the day. There were also reports of a fire having broken out at some places due to this severe battering.
There have been continuous reports of exchange of fire between the security personnel and the unspecified number of terrorists inside. NSG has now resorted to using grenade launchers within the heritage building to smoke out the militants. The forces have also broken the bridge between the old and the new buildings to restrict their movement.
Throughout the day the personnel kept evacuating stranded guests from the backdoor and with the help of cranes from the windows.
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".
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 in a restricted manner that the hostages inside the hotel remain safe.
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.
Success came soon after the commandos gunned down two terrorists holed up at the five star hotels, however not before there were 32 causalities in total, including that of the two militants.
Showing its resilient spirit, the hotel management announced that they would be reopening their properties to guests in four days time.
Four top police officials, including Mumbai Police Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, were among the 16 policemen killed as security forces took on terrorists here in the early hours of Thursday, authorities said.
Two Indian Police Service (IPS) officers - additional police commissioners Ashok Kamte and Sadanand Date - were killed in separate gun battles with terrorists following a series of attacks in India 's financial capital, the officials said. NSG Commander Gajender Singh was also among the dead.
Mumbai Police 'encounter specialist' Vijay Salaskar were also shot dead in another gun battle.
One Marine Commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and NSG’s Commando Chandar were killed at the Taj on Friday.
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.
A huge cache of arms has been recovered outside the Taj, including AK-47s, Chinese made grenades, bullets and other assorted armaments. Lots of dry fruits were also recovered from the same place.
The Indian government has already indicated that it suspects a foreign hand behind the attacks.