Mumbai, Nov 27 (UNI) Around four to five fresh gun shots were heard at the Taj Mahal Hotel, where the terrorists continue to hold hostages, even as the security forces started evacuating some of them.
The security forces have also declared a curfew in and around the Gateway of India, where the Hotel is located, from this morning.
Around 83 people are feared dead in one of the worst ever terrorist attacks on the metropolis since last night. As many as 200 people, who were wounded, have been admitted to different civic-run hospitals in the city.
A fire which broke out in the old wing of the Taj Mahal Hotel, set off by the terrorists hurling grenades, has been brought under control. One of the domes of the hotel has been damaged.
Security agencies have made elaborate plans to evacuate the hostages and take them to safety at both the Taj Mahal and Trident Hotels.
Among those killed, 12 were police personnel, including ATS chief Hemant Karkare, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamthe. Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone Nagare Patil was seriously injured and admitted to hospital.
Even as the city was waking up after a shocking nightmare, combined operations by the Army, Navy and commandos of the National Security Guards were on at the two five star hotels -- The Taj Palace and the Trident -- where terrorists were holding nearly 60 people as hostages.
The terrorists have been holed up in the fifth floor of the more than a century old landmark hotel, Taj Mahal.
Throughout the night, a constant vigil was on and exchange of fire continued between the forces and terrorists and in one such instance, two terrorists were killed and a commando was injured.
Police sources also told UNI that five terrorists have been killed and nine others apprehended.
A hitherto unknown outfit, Deccan Mujahideen, that some officials say, is a sleeper cell of Indian Mujahideen, that had carried out several blasts in the country, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
UNI ZC/ST/AAA/GS RN ATI CS0950