Scores Dead, Wounded; Tourists Held Hostage In Coordinated Mumbai Terror Strikes - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-26-2008, 09:58 PM   #1
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 10:42 PM
Scores Dead, Wounded; Tourists Held Hostage In Coordinated Mumbai Terror Strikes

By SOMINI SENGUPTA
New York Times, November 26



NEW DELHI — Coordinated terrorist attacks struck the heart of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, on Wednesday night, killing dozens in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a movie theater and a hospital.

Even by the standards of terrorism in India, which has suffered a rising number of terrorist attacks this year, the assaults were particularly brazen and drastically different in scale and execution. The attackers used boats to reach the urban peninsula where they hit, and their targets were sites popular with tourists. The Mumbai police said the attacks killed at least 80 people and wounded 240, according to preliminary reports. Guests who had escaped the hotels told television stations that the attackers were taking hostages, singling out Americans and Britons. A previously unknown group claimed responsibility, though that claim could not be confirmed. It remained unclear whether there was any link to outside terrorist groups.

Gunfire and explosions rang out well into the night. Hours after the assaults began, the landmark Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, next to the famed Gateway of India, was in flames. Guests banged on the windows of the upper floors as firefighters worked to rescue them. Fire also raged inside the luxurious Oberoi Hotel, according to the police. Some guests, including two members of the European Parliament who were visiting on a trade delegation, remained in hiding in the hotels, making desperate cellphone calls, some of them to television stations, describing their ordeal. Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that a gunman had ushered 30 or 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and, speaking in Hindi or Urdu, ordered them to put up their hands. “They were talking about British and Americans specifically,” he recounted. “There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said, ‘Where are you from?’ and he said he’s from Italy, and they said, ‘Fine,’ and they left him alone.”

Sajjad Karim, 38, a British member of the European Parliament, told Sky News: “A gunman just stood there spraying bullets around, right next to me.” Before his phone went dead, Mr. Karim added: “I managed to turn away and I ran into the hotel kitchen and then we were shunted into a restaurant in the basement. We are now in the dark in this room, and we have barricaded all the doors. It’s really bad.”

Attackers had also entered Cama and Albless Hospital, according to Indian television reports. Several high-ranking law enforcement officials, including the chief of the antiterrorism squad and a commissioner of police, were reported killed. The military was quickly called in to assist the police. Hospitals in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, have appealed for blood donations. As a sense of crisis gripped much of the city, schools and colleges announced they would be closed Thursday.

Vilasrao Deshmukh, the chief minister for Maharashtra State, where Mumbai is, told the CNN-IBN station that the attacks hit five to seven targets, concentrated in the southern tip of the city, known as Colaba and Nariman Point. But even hours after the attacks began, the full scope of the assaults was unclear. Unlike previous attacks in India this year, which consisted of anonymously planted bombs, the assailants on Wednesday night were spectacularly well-armed and very confrontational.

In some cases, said the state’s highest-ranking police official, A.N. Roy, the attackers opened fire and disappeared. Indian officials said the police had killed four of the suspected attackers and captured nine, The Associated Press reported.

Around midnight, more than two hours after the series of attacks began, television images from near the historic Metro Cinema showed journalists and bystanders ducking for cover as gunshots rang out. Television showed the charred shell of a car in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly Victoria Terminus, the mammoth railway station. A nearby gas station was blown up. The landmark Leopold Café, a favorite tourist haunt, was also hit.

Reached by phone, three guests trapped inside the Taj said about 1 a.m. that they had heard a fresh explosion and gunfire in the old wing of the hotel. A 31-year-old man who was inside the Taj attending a friend’s wedding reception said he was getting a drink around 9:45 p.m. when he heard something like firecrackers — “loud bursts” interspersed with what then sounded like machine-gun fire. A window of the banquet hall shattered, and guests scattered under tables and were quickly escorted to another room in the hotel, he said. No one was allowed to leave. Just before 1 a.m., another loud explosion rang out, and then another about a half-hour later, the man said. At 6 a.m., he said that when the guests tried to leave the room early Thursday, gunmen opened fire. One person was shot. The man’s friend, the groom, was two floors above him, in the old wing of the hotel, trapped in a room with his bride. One of the explosions, the man said, took the door off its hinges. He blocked it with a table. Then came another, and gunfire rang out throughout the evening. The man did not want to be identified for fear of being tracked down.

Rakesh Patel, a British businessman who escaped the Taj, told a local television station that two young men armed with a rifle and a machine gun took 15 people hostage, forcing them to the hotel roof. The gunmen, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, “were saying they wanted anyone with British or American passports,” Mr. Patel said. He and four others managed to slip away in the confusion and smoke of the upper floors, he said. He said he did not know the fate of the remaining hostages.

Clarence Rich Diffenderffer, of Wilmington, Del., said that after dinner at the hotel he headed up to the business center on the fifth floor. “A man in a hood with an AK-47 came running down the hall,” shooting and throwing four grenades, Mr. Diffenderffer said. “I, needless to say, beat it back to my room and locked it, and double-locked it, and put the bureau up against the door.” Mr. Diffenderffer said he was rescued hours later, at 6:30 a.m., by a cherrypicker. “That was pretty hairy,” he said. “I don’t like heights.”

A similar situation unfolded at the Oberoi. Among those apparently trapped were top executives and board members of Hindustan Unilever, part of the multinational corporate giant, the newspaper the Times of India reported. Indian military forces arrived outside the Oberoi at 2 a.m., and some 100 officers from the central government’s Rapid Action Force, an elite police unit, entered later. CNN-IBN reported the sounds of gunfire from the hotel just after the police contingent went in.

In Washington, the State Department immediately condemned the attacks, as did President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team. There were no immediate reports of American casualties.

A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen said it had carried out the attacks. It was not known who the group is or whether the claim was real.

India has been hit by a succession of terrorist attacks in the past several months. Many of them were initially attributed to Islamist militants, although in recent weeks, the police have pointed to a Hindu terrorist network as well, making several arrests. Mumbai has suffered several major terrorist attacks in recent years.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Times' breaking news blog, The Lede, is continuing to post updates. The most recent item says that Nariman House, a Jewish community center popular with Jewish travelers, is also under siege. More than 100 hostages are still being held at the Taj Hotel.

ETA: The BBC is reporting that gunmen have taken hostages in an office block in the financial district as well.


Terrifying and grim.
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:07 PM   #2
Blue Crack Distributor
 
corianderstem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 63,731
Local Time: 01:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by yolland View Post
Terrifying and grim.
That about sums it up. Awful, awful, awful.
__________________

__________________
corianderstem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:10 PM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 05:42 PM
__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 10:42 PM
Another success for that war on terra.

PS

Would ask the question who benefits from this?
__________________
financeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:20 PM   #5
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 07:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Another success for that war on terra.

PS

Would ask the question who benefits from this?
Obviously!

George W. Bush and the Likudniks flamed the hate between India and Pakistan.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:27 PM   #6
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 10:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Obviously!

George W. Bush and the Likudniks flamed the hate between India and Pakistan.
Put that against the mainstream media explanation, which is likely to be:-

"See, I told you dem Islamists are both evil AND incredibly stupid AND dangerous, ohmigod, HYSTERIA!!!".

But, yeah, obviously it's just another coincidence that this happens while the President Elect is deciding on foreign policy.
__________________
financeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:43 PM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 07:42 AM
The first place I would expect a conspiracy to be connected to a terrorist attack in India is within the Pakistani ISI. I fail to see how it has anything to do with Obama selecting his cabinet. If we play cui bono with every event our brains will find conspiracies whether they exist or not.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 10:42 PM
^ Look for the BJP to call for a vote of no confidence in the Singh government soon.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2008, 11:15 PM   #9
Blue Crack Addict
 
U2Fanatic4ever's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: nowhere..........man
Posts: 20,254
Local Time: 05:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post
That about sums it up. Awful, awful, awful.
yes, it sure is..
__________________
U2Fanatic4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 01:06 AM   #10
Blue Crack Addict
 
Babydoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Berlin, Germany.
Posts: 22,268
Local Time: 10:42 PM
I have relatives in Mumbai and my immediate family was planning on visiting the motherland this Christmas..

Yikes.
__________________
Babydoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 02:22 AM   #11
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Zoots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: the great beyond
Posts: 36,802
Local Time: 11:42 PM
Hopefully this is a wake up call to the Indian government in terms of security measures! Almost everybody I talk to over there complains about the lack of security everywhere. Even I experienced it first hand in 2005 at Mumbai airport where the searching was laughably lax! With the second highest populated country in the world and consequently a huge civilian risk, you'd think there would be an equivalent of a DHS over there!
__________________
Zoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 02:25 AM   #12
Blue Crack Addict
 
Babydoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Berlin, Germany.
Posts: 22,268
Local Time: 10:42 PM
Zoots do you have relations in Mumbai? I do, quite a few. Have no idea how they're doing
__________________
Babydoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 02:29 AM   #13
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Zoots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: the great beyond
Posts: 36,802
Local Time: 11:42 PM
I have some family in Mumbai but as far as I know they're all safe. This looks like a very specific attack on westerners staying there at those hotels. And not to mention other tourist hangouts like Leopold's Cafe. Do your relatives live near those areas? I'll pray that they are safe! :Pray:
__________________
Zoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 02:34 AM   #14
Blue Crack Addict
 
Babydoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Berlin, Germany.
Posts: 22,268
Local Time: 10:42 PM
What happened to the good old days of "Ye hai Mumbai meri jaan"

All this violence going on...
__________________
Babydoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2008, 02:38 AM   #15
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Zoots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: the great beyond
Posts: 36,802
Local Time: 11:42 PM
The city will bounce back pretty quick I suppose, like it did in 2006 after the train bombings. But the fucking government better do something! I'm amazed that the country has been facing terrorist attacks for years and years, long before the US faced it's big one on 9/11 and still there is no department in the govt. against terrorist attacks! ...unless I'm missing something but I haven't heard of one.
__________________

__________________
Zoots is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com