However, the NSG is still sanitising the hotel to check if any remaining terrorist or explosive is still in the 400-room hotel, NSG Director General J K Dutt told reporters.
“The commandos killed three terrorists after intense gun-battle inside the hotel,” Dutt said.
An AK-47 rifle was also recovered from them.
“There was lot of shooting. Grenades were lobbed and explosives were used by the terrorists,” he said.
Dutt said the “operation” to secure the 100-year-old heritage hotel in Colaba area completely was still in progress and NSG was undertaking the combing operation.
“We cannot say the operation is over till we check the hotel. Each floor, each room will be checked” to ensure that no more terrorist is hiding in the hotel or no explosives are hidden there, the NSG chief said.
Giving details of the operation, Dutt said the terrorists would set afire the hotel rooms whenever they came under pressure from the NSG commandos.
This was to divert the attention of the NSG, he said, adding that the commandos were, however, undeterred by these tactics and continued their assault resulting in the success.
“We are also looking for any surviving guests, still locked up in the rooms and not coming out for the fear of terrorist attack,” Dutt said.
Dutt appealed to the surviving guests to open curtains of their windows to help them identify and rescue them while assuring that NSG has the expertise to neutralise the terrorists from the window.
“The body which was seen falling out of the first floor window was of a terrorist,” he said.
The forces had secured the other luxury hotel Trident Oberoi and a Jewish Centre yesterday while maintaining that a lone gunman continued to hold out inside the Taj hotel at the end of the pitched combat that left 30 hostages dead.
At the Centre, a residential complex housing a prayer hall, commandos were air dropped from helicopters in first such operation in urban India during which the security forces spent the entire day to clear it. Two terrorists were killed but not before five of the hostages were eliminated by them.
The might of the Indian security forces had to be brought in to rid these landmarks in the country’s financial capital of the heavily-armed suspected Pakistani terrorists, but the costs were heavy.
When the Oberoi was cleared of the terrorists, as many as 30 hostages were found dead raising the toll in the worst terrorist strike against India to over 160 including 16 security personnel. Eleven terrorists were also eliminated and one was captured on Friday.
Police Commissioner Hassan Gaffoor separately told reporters that four terrorists were holed up at the Taj and they were killed in the last two days.
Over ten terrorists were holed up in the three buildings — Taj, Oberoi-Trident and Nariman House in the South Mumbai, he said, adding nine of them killed and one captured.
Eyewitnesses said that there was a carnage in the Oberoi’s upper lobby restaurant ‘Tiffin’ and bodies were strewn all over in both the five star hotels.
Eerie silence was slowly descending on the city as it was coming to terms with the terror attack.
Most of the bodies were taken to J J hospital for post-mortem which had been delayed as the morgues in the South Mumbai government hospital were full.
Surgeons from another government hospital were in Oberoi-Trident to examine bodies and attend to injured.