Scarred Taj Mahal Hotel stands tall after gunbattle | india | Hindustan Times
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Scarred Taj Mahal Hotel stands tall after gunbattle

india Updated: Nov 29, 2008 12:20 IST

Scarred by the 60-hour gunbattle, the majestic Taj Mahal Hotel stood tall amid remains of the encounter which saw several of its 529 rooms set afire by terrorists.

The last nest of terrorist resistance was captured by the elite National Security Guards (NSG) in a final assault which ended at around 8:30 a.M.

Smoke billowed from some windows on the first floor of the 105-year-old heritage hotel opposite the Gateway of India where NSG commandos were busy combing the hotel rooms in a bid to sanitise the building.

The pavement outside the hotel was smeared with blood and shards of glass and flames were seen from some windows as commandos rummaged through the debris.

Firefighters poured water to douse the flames on the lower floors of the six-storey heritage hotel as Tata Group's Indian Hotels Vice Chairman R K Krishna Kumar watched the proceedings from a distance.

The piazza opposite the sea-front hotel was witness to a flurry of activity of mediapersons, most of whom had camped there for over 60 hours giving a blow-by-blow account of one of the longest siege witnessed by the country.

Terrorists, who suspectedly came in rubber boats, had remained holed up in the hotel since Wednesday night killing guests and spreading terror.

Commandos found a bagful of dry fruits, grenades, assault rifles and several rounds of ammunition from the site.