INDIAN ARMY READY TO STORM OBEROI HOTEL: 40 British Hostages - Three Hostage Situations - Taj on Fire
THE INDIAN Army are preparing to move into the Oberoi Hotel, now. Ambulances move into position outside..- There is an astonishing "Three Hostage Situations" - The Taj Hotel is on Fire. Horror continues to unfold.
BREAKING: 40 British Nationals held hostage - reports coming in. "16 different groups of armed men roaming Delhi."
"Deccan Mujahadeen" have claimed responsibility. Expert opinion is that they are unlikely to be a new unsophisticated group.
TWENTY-FIVE "westerner" hostages are being held at gun-point by terrorists at two Mumbai Hotels, the Taj Mahal, and the Oberoi has been revealed tonight. They were selected for their American or British titles it has been claimed.
A British eye witness who escaped said he and a group of fifteen, half of them Westerners, were led up to the 18th floor of the Taj hotel, and asked whether anybody had British or American passports. The other hotel is now believed to be the Oberoi, which is said to be "on fire and with a gun-fight going on".
British and US Intelligence are currently "seeking information" as fears grow that it could be an Al-Quaeda attack, because it was so well-co-ordinated across seven separate places.
Islamist fundamentals in Mumbai Muslim communities and Pakistan have strongly denied any involvement.
It comes after a day of a reported 80 people killed in a cross-country terrorist attack.
The Maharashta chief minister earlier said that 40 people were dead, with a further 150 injured, but the St George hospital has reported receiving 80 bodies and 250 injured.
According to the police, Fidayeen Islamic terrorists are responsible, and at least 24 are still at large.
The terrorists opened fire in one of Mumbai's smartest hotels - the Oberoi - at 22.45 local time, leaving seven dead and 25 injured. Twenty-five people are reported to be being held hostage. Navy commandos are now entering the hotel.
There are also reports of a bomb at the Taj and, nearby, police suspect the presence of a boatload of explosives. The attackers may be hiding out at Nariman House.
The police have called in the army and National Security Guard for help, and the Maharashta chief minister, who is on his way to the city from Kerala, has asked New Delhi for more assistance.
Two more blasts were reported at Mazgaon and BPT Colony at 00:15 hours. Terrorists are believed to have hijacked a police van, as unidentified firing was witnessed from a van, injuring one person.
A VP petrol pump near the Colaba district was blown up, as was the Metro Cinema hall, with one bomb exploding inside a taxi near Vile Parle, just a kilometre away from the airport. The attacks have left Mumbaikers in a state of shock.