Commandos begin final assault at Oberoi | india | Hindustan Times
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Commandos begin final assault at Oberoi

india Updated: Nov 27, 2008 20:35 IST

Fresh explosions were reported from Taj hotel even as security forces launched decisive assault to flush out terrorists from the building. Two other sites -- Trident Hotel and Nariman house are still under siege. Meanwhile, the state CM Vilasrao Deshmukh said saving the lives of trapped people was the main priority and assured that BSE as well as schools will open tomorrow.

Security forces have secured the Taj hotel in Mumbai one of the three sites where they launched operations to flush out terrorists. The other two -- Trident Hotel and Nariman house are still under siege. About 100 people are still trapped in three buildings due to the strike carried out by the terrorists last night. The terror attack in the financial capital has claimed over 100 lives and left more than 300 injured.

Among those trapped in Taj were four MPs including Bhupendrasinh Solanki (BJP), N Krishnadas (CPI-M) and Mani Tripathi (BSP) who were later rescued.

Latest reports indicate that terrorists, about 10-12 in number in Taj alone, have made some ransom demands but Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil said the authorities have't recieved any demands yet.

He said five of the dozen terrorists in Taj have been killed while one has been captured and was being interrogated. Claiming to have some "vital leads", the minister expressed confidence of breakthrough soon.

As the day broke gun battles raged between terrorists and commandoes and fresh explosions rocked the two hotels after the night of terror targeting ten places. Reports suggest the terrorists came in a boat upto the Gateway of India, opposite Taj hotel.

One terrorist was shot dead in Nariman House, police said suspecting the presence of six more in the complex. Heavy exchange of fire was on between the two sides a little past noon.

An unspecified number of foreigners including Americans, Israelis and Canadians are believed to be among those in the two hotels and in Nariman House, a residential complex with an old Jewish Synagogue.

There were unconfirmed reports of a hostage-like situation in Cama hospital from where two terrorists in the wee hours tried to escape but were gunned down after a hot chase by the police near the Chowpatty-Girgaum crossing.

Earlier sharp shooters of army, NSG and other security forces moved into Mumbai's landmark hotels to overwhelm an unspecified number of terrorists still holed out there after several residents were rescued in the wee hours. About 800 personnel from armed forces and NSG were deployed from outside Mumbai and from Delhi.

Raging fire and plumes of black smoke were seen billowing from the central dome of the century-old heritage Taj hotel opposite the Gateway of India this morning as firemen struggled to douse them. A guest stranded in one of the rooms said two explosions shook the building.

Trident was under siege with terrorists holding some foreigners hostage. A tourist guide was worried about the fate of five Canadians he had put up in that hotel. Earlier in the night, explosions were heard in the hotel.

As last night's terror incidents spread a sense of panic and fear in the metropolis, schools and colleges were ordered closed and the Bombay Stock Exchange did not function today.

Suburban trains and city buses operated normally but without usual rush. Except for cancellation of three international flights, domestic air services to Mumbai were maintained.