MUMBAI, November 27, 2008 (AFP) – Indian commandos battled into the early hours of Friday to end a multiple hostage crisis in Mumbai after suspected Pakistan-based Islamic militants killed 125 people across the city.
Officials said they had almost totally cleared the luxury Taj Mahal hotel where gunmen had been holed up for more than 24 hours after their rampage of gunfire and grenade blasts.
Thirty-nine people were rescued from the five-star Oberoi/Trident hotel, where “mopping up” operations were still underway, police said.
Security forces were also trying to secure an office-residential complex that houses a Jewish centre, where an uncertain number of Israelis were believed to be trapped or held hostage. Two explosions were heard at the site early Friday.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the militants had come from “outside the country,” while the military official leading the operation to flush them out, Major General R.K. Hooda, said they were from arch-rival Pakistan.
The Press Trust of India said one Pakistani militant had been detained, although Pakistan’s government fiercely denied any involvement.
More than 24 hours after the attacks began, military officials said spe