Mumbai Terrorist Attack - 101 killed and 287 injured

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Terrorist Attack - 101 killed and 287 injured

MUMBAI, India — Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters in India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.

Police and gunmen were exchanging occasional gunfire at two luxury hotels and dozens of people were believed held hostage or trapped in besieged buildings. Pradeep Indulkar, a senior official at the Maharashtra state Home Ministry said 101 people were killed and 287 injured.

Officials said at least eight militants had also been killed since the overnight attacks that targeted at least 10 separate sites began around 9:30 p.m.

Gunmen also seized the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch, the New York-based group said. Indian commandos surrounded the building in the morning, and media reports said gunfire was heard from the building.

By mid-morning, police loudspeakers declared a curfew around Mumbai's landmark Taj Mahal hotel, and black-clad commandos ran into the building as fresh gunshots rang out from the area, apparently the beginning of an assault on gunmen who had taken hostages in the hotel.

Ambulances were seen driving up to the entrance to the hotel and journalists were made to move even further back from the area.

Pradeep Indulkar, a senior official at the Maharashtra state Home Ministry said 101 people were killed and 287 injured.

A series of explosions had rocked the Taj Mahal just after midnight. Screams were heard and black smoke billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai's waterfront. Firefighters sprayed water at the blaze and plucked people from balconies with extension ladders. By dawn, the fire was still burning.

The attackers specifically targeted Britons and Americans, witnesses said.

Officials said at least 6 militants had been killed since the overnight attacks began around 9:30 p.m. local time.

Source: The Canadian Press


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