Troops Appear to Be Regaining Mumbai Control

Indian security forces are still battling to take control of two of the three hostage locations in Mumbai.

The situation at the Taj hotel remains extremely tense with explosions and gunfire heard all day despite the fact that the hotel had been declared under control hours ago.

Debris from the blasts showered crowds outside, wounding several bystanders.

At the landmark building, Indian forces have been attacking a third floor window with a rocket- propelled grenade launcher.

Lt. Gen. N. Thamburaj from the Indian army said his troops were hunting a final holdout fighter who was moving between two floors and had cut power to some areas.

"It is possible that this terrorist has got two or more hostages with him," the general said.

Taj Mahal Hotel

"He is moving in two floors, there is a dance floor area where apparently he has cut off all the lights. And sometimes he gets holed up into some of the rooms, and he has made the area dark," Thamburaj said.

The daylong battle has led to speculations that there must be more than one terrorist inside. Indian television reports that there are at least six gunmen returning fire on Indian security forces.

The siege at the Jewish center is, according to Mumbai's police chief, in "the end game" but ongoing.

"Five hostages have been killed and the place is yet to be fully secured, which we hope to do soon," Hasan Gafoor, the Mumbai police commissioner, said by telephone.


A young Jewish rabbi from Brooklyn N.Y., Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivka, 28 were among the dead according to NDTV.

Earlier Friday the Oberoi-Trident Hotel was taken from the militants, but heavy fighting and explosions continue at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

Black-clad commandos exited Nariman House, an outreach center for the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch Jewish sect, with their thumbs up.

The crowd outside cheered assuming the operation was over, but police on the scene told ABC News it was still ongoing and there was at least one militant inside.

The commandos, known as the Black Cats, were dropped by helicopter on the rooftop of the apartment building, while others approached from the ground.

Snipers watched the building, poised.

Several militants exchanged gunfire with the troops and the building was rocked with a series of powerful explosions, witnesses said.

Troops were seen dangling what appears to be a mannequin over the side of the building in an apparent attempt to get the terrorists to reveal their whereabouts.

ABC News' Karen Russo reports from the scene, "Roofs in every direction are filled with hundreds of people watching the firefight - and cheering and clapping along with the explosions."

Crowds outside the Trident-Oberoi watched as hostages were freed.

Indian security forces say the Trident-Oberoi is safely in their hands, and that they have killed the two remaining militants there.

"The hotel is under our control," J.K. Dutt, director general of India's elite National Security Guard commando unit, told reporters.

Hundreds of people have been freed from both hotels, many rushed immediately into ambulances.

Survivors of the sieges reported seeing dead bodies in the hallways and lobbies.

Reuters news ageny quotes the Mumbai Chief of Police as saying so far 24 bodies have been found in the Trident Oberoi.

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