Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terror in Mumbai: 10+ Murdered In Multiple Coordinated Attacks: UPDATE: 80+ Dead, 250+ Wounded: UPDATE: 900+ Injured

Terrorists engaged in gunfights and detonated explosive devices and have killed more than 10 people in multiple locations. The focus of the attacks appears to be several upscale hotels and other popular tourist destinations in the Indian city of Mumbai.
The gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in the attacks in India's financial capital, police and witnesses said.

Local television reports said at least 15 people were reported to have been killed and more than 20 injured.

Two five-star hotels — Hotel Oberoi and Hotel Taj — wee under siege and gunmen were believed to have taken hostages.

A.N Roy, police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said police were battling the gunmen.

"The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy.

Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best-known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark.
The Indian railway has shut down in response to the attacks. At least 25 have been injured in the attacks, but I expect that number to rise.

The nature of the attacks is highly suggestive of an al Qaeda or affiliated operation given the coordinated attacks and attempts to inflict mass casualties. What is interesting is that the terrorists didn't use bombs, but rather grenades and gunfire to carry out their attacks.

CBS Marketwatch is reporting at least 25 dead.

A list of prior major terror attacks in India can be found here.

Via Yochanan at LGF, the Times of India reports the death toll is now at least 80, with more than 250 injured.

This may be significant. Charles at LGF notes that some reports are indicating that the terrorists were looking for Americans and British citizens at the hotels. That is in addition to this report:
Sajjad Karim, a Conservative MEP for the North West of England who is in Mumbai, saw a gunman opening fire in the lobby of Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

Speaking by mobile phone from a barricaded basement room, the MEP said he and others had fled from machine-gun fire and had no idea why the hotel was targeted.
MEP Sajjad Karim fled after seeing a gunman open fire

MEP Sajjad Karim fled after seeing a gunman open fire

He said: 'I was in the lobby of the hotel when gunmen came in and people started running. There were about 25 or 30 of us.

'Some of us split one way and some another. A gunman just stood there spraying bullets around, right next to me. 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've barricaded all the doors. It's really bad.'

Mr Karim is part of a delegation of Euro-MPs visiting Mumbai ahead of the forthcoming EU-India summit.
Raw video is starting to make its way online and the numbers are grim. At least 900 injured and reports of massive explosions at the Taj Hotel, site of one of the terror attacks. Also, chatter seems to be pointing to an al Qaeda attack.

The Times of India is also reporting that the terrorists killed a number of top Indian law enforcement officials which begs the question of how they were able to get so many people; clues suggest that the terrorists used kids or teenagers to slip in unnoticed.

Bill Roggio notes that the terror group that's claimed responsibility is likely to be no more than a front group for the real culprits.

Gateway Pundit is also covering the situation and has more details about the attacks and their targets, including hospitals.

Ace of Spades is also covering the situation and notes that the terrorists targeted a police station, which explains why so many top law enforcement officers were killed or injured.

Live streaming from, which is a CNN affiliate in India.

Based on the scale and scope of the attack, combined with the targets, the Indians may begin treating this as not just a terrorist attack, but to consider that it would not be possible without ISI involvment, which bring more serious repercussions.

The terrorists may have had that in mind with this attack - engage in such a massive strike so as to imply that the Pakistanis were involved to sabotage already fragile relations between the two countries to cause an all out war (yet again), and the first between two nuclear powers to boot.

Four of the terrorists have been killed and nine have been captured. However, it was not without cost to the Indian authorities:
Commandos stormed the Taj early on Thursday, apparently leading to the release of guests inside, with television footage showing people being shepherded out of the building.

Shortly afterwards, the upper floors of the landmark hotel became engulfed in flames and huge plumes of smoke billowed out from its distinctive red dome. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze or whether the gunmen were still inside.

One of those killed during the operation was Mumbai's Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare.

Police said two gunmen were shot dead.

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