Army commandos have launched major operations on the Taj Mahal hotel and a Jewish centre where Indian special forces say they have found what appears to be the bodies of two hostages.
And watch our Top Story: 'Terror in Mumbai'
The Indian military on Friday launched a grenade attack on the Taj Mahal Palace to flush out at least one militant who was holed up there after a hostage drama.
“We are reaching the final stages of the operation on the Taj Mahal hotel,” said FRANCE 24’s Lise Thomas-Richard in Mumbai. “I heard explosions or shooting every two minutes,” she said.
Earlier, police found explosives capable of causing "major damage" after regaining control of the building from armed militants, a senior police official said Friday.
"We did find explosive boxes at two locations on either side of the Taj. That was a substantial amount of explosives to cause major damage," Maharashtra state police chief A.N. Roy told India's NDTV channel.
“At least one, maximum two terrorists,” are still holed up in the Taj hotel, he said, before adding that according to his information, there are no longer any hostages inside the hotel.
Commandos storm Mumbai’s Nariman House
Indian commandos besieging a Jewish centre in Mumbai, where several hostages including Israelis are being held by militants, blew a hole in an outside wall of the building, local television showed on Friday.
The special forces found two bodies at the centre which appear to be those of hostages, according to the country's National Security Guards chief, J.K. Dutt.
Dutt also told Indian television that the commandos had killed two militants in operations at the centre.
Shortly after dawn on Friday, black-clad commandos were seen abseiling from a helicopter into the centre, where gunmen were holed up after taking several hostages.
According to a Reuters witness, commandos made at least three sorties and took up position on the roof as troops fired inside the building to provide cover.
Late on Thursday, seven hostages were rescued from the complex, Indian security officials said. The Israeli embassy estimated that at least 6 Israelis were still held hostage inside the centre on Friday.
On Wednesday evening, an estimated 25 militants armed with assault rifles and grenades -- at least some of whom arrived by sea -- had fanned out across Mumbai to attack sites known to be popular with tourists and businessmen.
They reportedly fired automatic weapons indiscriminately before settling inside the two hotels, where they appeared to target foreign nationals, reportedly Britons, Americans and Israelis. Two Australians, a Canadian, an Italian, a German, a Briton and a Japanese national were among those killed in the attacks, their governments said.
Date created : 2008-11-28