Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terror sweeps through Mumbai

It is very saddening to see a beautiful city burn at the hands of extremists. This great tragedy is still unfolding as I is equally disappointing that the world has taken its eyes off of this inhumane threat. I'm watching CNN now, and one report even suggests that the terrorists might have followed rescue workers to a hospital and attacked there. Just remember that terrorism doesn't go away when the markets are struggling, and they are always willing to remind us of this. Let's pray that the hostages are rescued and the brave Indian soldiers and police bring this to a close.

From the BBC:

Gunmen have carried out a series of co-ordinated attacks across the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay), killing at least 80 people and injuring 200 more.

At least seven high-profile locations were hit in India's financial capital, including two luxury hotels where hostages were reported to be held.

A fire is sweeping through the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai's most famous hotel which is now ringed by troops.

Police said four suspected terrorists have been killed and nine arrested.

The situation is still confused but the main train station, a hospital, a restaurant and as well as the two hotels are among those places caught up in the violence.

There are reports of gunfire and explosions taking place elsewhere in the city.

Commandos have now surrounded the two hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi Trident, where it is believed that the armed men are holding dozens of hostages.

One eyewitness said that the attackers had singled out British and American passport holders.

If this report is true, our security correspondent Frank Gardner says it suggests that Islamic militants are behind the attack.

A claim of responsibility has been made by a previously unknown group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen.

The motive is far from clear - but the attacks come amid elections in several Indian states, including in disputed Kashmir.

In the latest developments:

-Police say an explosion heard inside the Oberoi was from a hand grenade, and flames and a massive plume of smoke are billowing from the Taj Mahal hotel

-The head of Mumbai's anti-terrorism unit and two other senior officers are among those killed, according to local TV

-The US and the UK have both condemned the attacks and Washington says it is "assessing the hostage situation"

-Gunmen opened fire at about 2300 local time at the sites in southern Mumbai.

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