INDIA: Fire breaks out at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai as security forces clash with militants .
- Title: INDIA: Fire breaks out at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai as security forces clash with militants .
- Date: 29th November 2008
- Summary: EMUMBAI, INDIA (NOVEMBER 29, 2008) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF TAJ MAHAL HOTEL SECURITY OFFICIAL WITH GUN SECURITY WITH GUN STANDING IN FRONT OF BUS SECURITY OFFICIAL INSIDE OF BUS FLAMES INSIDE HOTEL SMOKE COMING OUT OF HOTEL WINDOWS SNIPERS SMOKE COMING OUT OF HOTEL BROKEN WINDOWS MORE SMOKE FLAMES AND SMOKE INSIDE HOTEL SNIPERS MORE SMOKE COMING OUT OF HOTEL SECURITY OFFICIAL DRIVING BY EXTERIOR OF HOTEL ARMED OFFICIAL WALKING FLAMES COMING OUT OF WINDOW SMOKE BILLOWING OUT OF HOTEL SECURITY OFFICIALS AROUND BUILDING MORE OF FLAMES OUT OF HOTEL VARIOUS OF ARMED OFFICIAL AROUND HOTEL FLAMES COMING OUT OF WINDOW EXTERIOR OF HOTEL
- Reuters ID: LVABS8XH30AQRJNZCS44J2BEA71H
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Duration: 00:02:51
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Fire breaks out at Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel as Indian commandos mop up last of militants holed up inside.
Indian commandos said the killed the last Islamist gunmen holed up at Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel on Saturday (November 29), ending a three-day battle at landmarks across India's financial capital that has killed at least 155 people.
Fire and smoke billowed out of the windows of the luxury hotel as commandos made a last push to clear the hotel of militants who had been holed up in the building since Wednesday.
"Two bodies of terrorists was found. We have also recovered an AK47 rifle. We got a lot of help from Mumbai police. The NSG (National Security Guard) Commandos put in valiant efforts to neutralise the terrorists, but now we need to sanitise the building," Commando Chief Jyoti Krishna Dutt told journalists.
Shortly after speaking to the journalists, security officials revised the number of dead in the last operation.
At least three militants and one trooper were killed after a running gunbattle through a maze of corridors, rooms and halls, the country's commando chief, Jyoti Krishna Dutt, told reporters.
The gunmen had set parts of the hotel ablaze as they played cat and mouse with scores of India's best-trained commandos, known as the Black Cats.
"We have been saying that there were at least three terrorists inside. So we have got three bodies of terrorists so far. We are going through the entire hotel. Through the corridors, through the rooms till we are able to check each and every room. I will not say that the operation is over. But as of now there is no shooting or firing taking place in the hotel," Dutt told a huge crowd of jostling reporters outside the hotel.
He said a body seen thrown out of a window at the hotel was that of one of the militants.
There was no word on the fate of hostages or any remaining guests who might have been trapped inside their rooms.
Sniffer dogs were taken to the iconic 105-year-old hotel and ambulances arrived. Some commandos lined up ready to enter the hotel to sweep through the rooms, while others boarded buses to pull out, looking exhausted.
The Taj Mahal was the last battleground after three days of intense fighting in various parts of the city of 18 million.
Black streaks of soot stained the grey bricks, white balconies and red-tiled roofs of the hotel's facade, with two of its corner stained glass windows broken.
The attacks were carried out by a small army of young men armed with rifles and grenades, some of whom arrived by sea, who fanned out across Mumbai on Wednesday (November 26) night to attack sites popular with tourists and business executives.
Authorities said 18 foreigners were among the 144 killed. At least 283 were wounded.
Three Germans, five Americans, one Australian, a Briton, one Canadian, two French, an Israeli, an Italian, a Japanese, a Singaporean and a Thai, were among the dead, according to various governments.
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- Embargoed:14th December 2008 12:00