Terror attacks in Mumbai: Taj and Oberoi hotels under siege
Mumbai city has fallen prey to the biggest ever terrorist operation in India. In a well-planned and synchronized manner, heavily-armed terrorists attacked 10 major landmarks in the heart of India’s financial capital on Wednesday evening. The main target of the terrorists were foreigners and policemen. The two five star hotels of the city, Taj and Oberoi, are still under the controls of terrorists.
As per the latest reports, over 100 people are killed, including Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar. The figure of injured people has crossed the 300 mark.
The first attack took place at Leopold restaurant at Colaba and then a string of attacks followed at various public places including the CST (VT) railway station, GT hospital and Cama hospital. However, the pin has rested on three spots, Taj hotel, Oberoi hotel and Nariman House in Colaba, where the security forces are still engaged in a gun battle with the terrorists to gain control and release the guests (mostly foreigners) who are taken hostage by the terrorists.
At around 3:25 AM, an explosion was heard from the old wing of Taj hotel and the hotel went into flames. And then followed the hostage drama with sounds of firing from inside the new tower.
Update: 150 hostages are released from Taj and 20 hostages are still believed to be in the hold of the terrorists. Seven British citizen are reported dead. Till now, three terrorists are killed by the security forces. Deccan Mujahideen claims the responsibility for the attacks. NSG commandos enter Taj hotel.
Update 1: Five unidentified dead bodies are found on the seventh floor of new Tower of Taj hotel. IB claims that preliminary investigations point towards involvement of Pakistani nationals in the attacks.
Update 2: According to DGP A N Roy, all people trapped in Taj have been rescued and there is no hostage-like situation right now. However, the guests are still trapped in Oberoi.
Update 3: Fresh explosions amidst gunfire sounds have been reported from inside Taj hotel. NSG Director General Jyoti Krishan Dutt said commandos are involved in a fierce encounter with terrorists inside the Taj Hotel. Further, he has stated that all the commandos are safe and the operation should finish in 30 minutes.
Update 4: Latest figure shows 125 killed (including 14 policemen) and 327 injured. Terrorists kill wife and three children of Hotel Taj’s G M. NSG has claimed that all the terrorist at Taj are killed while 30 terrorists are trapped in Oberoi. Also, three terrorists are reported in Nariman house where the NSG is battling for control. Seven hostages have been rescued from Nariman House whereas three NSG officers are reportedly hurt in the operation.
Update 5: FBI is reported to be sending unit from LA to Mumbai because of potential American hostages. NSG says one terrorist is still left in Taj.
Update 6 Eight foreign nationals killed – 3 Germans, 1 Japanese, 1 Australian, 1 Canadian, while the nationality of two has not been ascertained yet. The death toll has risen to 155 while 327 reported injured.
Update 7: Five hostages reportedly killed at Nariman House, operation is still on and the situation is unclear. Taj Tower has been cleared of terrorists and combing operation is on but the situation at Taj Heritage is unclear where a fresh explosion was reported. Contrary to earlier reports, it is believed that more than one (around six) terrorists are still inside Taj. The battle continues. Hopefully, the operation at Oberoi hotel has come to an end, 148 hostages have been released from Oberoi.
Update 8: (Saturday, November 29. 4:36 AM IST) Three terrorists still at Taj. The operation is expected to continue over night, says NSG. Also the death toll of foreign nationals has risen to 13, including the Israeli rabbi and his wife (who were killed at Nariman House).
Update 9: (Saturday, November 29. 7:20 AM IST): Fresh explosions and heavy gunfire heard from inside of Taj Heritage. A total of five explosions rocked the building within a span of 30 minutes. Two or three terrorists are believed to be in there.