Ravi Dixit, thanks for getting this story out so quickly. It will now show up on the home page for four hours. If new developments justify it, I'll renew this flag for another cycle.
Mumbai Attack - Nation Salutes its fallen Heroes
NowPublic Mumbai Channel
A coordinated series of attacks took place across Mumbai - in the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station; two five-star hotels, the Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Palace & Tower; Leopold's, a popular tourist restaurant; and the police headquarters in South Mumbai.
Tag your stories, photos and videos "Mumbai" to see them featured here.
Update 14:35 IST 29th November Mumbai:
Curtains have falled on the latest crisis threatning the Indian State with all the ongoing operations ending including the one at Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. The city is breathing a sigh of relief, but there is a strong sense of anger amongst the citizens as they have been taken for granted for far too long and the word resilient that has been used for the City of Mumbai and its citizens is fast becoming a taboo. The word has aquired a new meaning that keep going nothing will change. Those who have been entrusted with teh security and management of the country will move around with Z Plus security and the citizens, impoverished or powerful will bear the brunt of terror and keep smiling!!! People are seething with anger would be an understatement.
In a very significant jesture the widow of Slain Chief of Mumbai ATS Mrs. Hemant Karkare has refused the help that was doled out to her yeaterday by Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat that is ruled by BJP the lead opposition party in India.
Till about a week back the entire national brass of BJP was calling Hemant Karkare anti Hindu because of his active investigations into Malegaon blasts.
It remains to be seen that the anger and frustration of the populace would manifest into action as Delhi the national capital and a state of the Indian Union is holding elections for its Assembly and BJP has pitched the failure of Congress Government as its main planck.
How Delhi and other states vote would determine who won, the Nation or the policy of opportunism!
With this I close the post and thanks to hundreds of people who commented and updated this story and 33 thousand plus netizens who have visited this page till now.
Update 11:00 IST National is saluting its Fallen Soldiers in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.
56 Hours of Terror in Mumbai - Coverage since hour Zero - Latest on the top and earliest at the bottom of the page.
Update 05:37 AM IST Officials are not ruling the absence of guests in Taj Hotel as of Now and MARCOS (read the report below for reference) have now surrounding the hotel with Mumbai Police providing the perimeter coverage to the entire Taj operation.
Update 05:33 AM IST As per reports on the news channels there were two sets of terrorists that entered Mumbai, one set came and rented a house in Mumbai and has false fisherman identifications that they used to try the sea route before the fateful night of 26th November and the second set came with the arms and ammunition via the sea route. It was also reported some time back that some ammunition was thrown in the sea as they could not carry everything into Mumbai.
Update 05:24 AM IST The protracted gunbattle at the Taj is still contnuing and as per media reports there is intermittant firing happening still. 16 more explosions have been heard at the Taj. There are nearly 100 commandos that are right now fighting the terrorists at the Taj.
In a related development a newspaper report in Israeli Newspaper has laballed the Indian operation at Nariman House as slow and confused.
New Delhi: As India turned down Israel's offer to send its crack commandos to Mumbai to rescue Israeli hostages held in a Jewish centre, an influential newspaper in Tel Aviv has criticised "slow, confused and inefficient" response of Indian authorities to the terror attacks in Mumbai.
"In the first several hours after the Mumbai incidents began, the response of the Indian authorities was slow, confused and inefficient," said an article in Haaretz, entitled "Is al Qaeda behind the Mumbai terror attacks?"
Update 01:39 15 Foreign Nationals killed in Mumbai Attack includes 1 Japanese, 2 UK 2 US Nationals, 2 French Nationals, 3 Germans, 1 Australian, 1 Canadian citizens. CNN is claiming that their Live Coverage license has not been renewed so their reporters are reporting via phones. They are using videos from their sister network CNN IBN and other Indian News Channels.
Update 00:45 IST The Taj operation is just not getting over and it is continuing even after 48 hours and the Director General of NSG that is spearheading the operation estimates that upto 4 terrorists are suspected to still be inside the hotel and are firing at the commandos.
Zee News is now revealing that one of the terrorist was interning at Taj as a chef for the past 10 months and shot one of his fellow intern who called up home before breathing his last to say that his friend shot him. This would perhaps explain the detailed knowledge that the terrorist had about the layout of the Taj and have survived attacks from the elite commandos of Indian armed forces.
Another news channel Aaj Tak is now reporting that Zakiur Rehman a Lakshar E Toiba - Pakistan based terrorist group was teh alleged mastermind of this operation. Talking to Prannoy Roy of NDTV a few hours back the Pakistani Foreign Minister reaffirmed that the group is already banned in Pakistan and also promosed action against the group if it is operating under any other name.
A Jewish Rabbi and his wife are amongst the dead at the Nariman House.
Update 22:18 IST Mumbai has already counted 156 of its dead and the operation at Taj Mahal Hotel is the only one that is continuing. The other two ongoing operations having ended within the past few hours.
Hoard of crowds are cheering the NSG commandos after they finished off the Nariman House operation.
Update 21:36 IST We are close to the 48 hours mark since the start of this crisis and finally it seems to end with the exception of 1 terrorist still holed up inside the Heritage wing of Taj Mahal hotel and is keeping the security forces at bay.
It is assumed that they are trying to capture the terrorist alive. It is the capture of another terrorist (read down) as reported earlier in this story that led to establishing of Pakistani terrorist.
The city is entring into another night where a lot of the citizens will be connected to the internet and their television sets and hope to wake up tomorrow with the news of the encounter ending.
Online feed of CNN IBN can be viewed here: http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/video_streaming.php
Update 21:11 IST It has been 48 hours following this story and there are multiple layers still emerging as follows:
ISI chief from Pakistan has been asked to visit India to be confronted with the evidance of involvement of Pakistani Citizens in this attack.
Pakistani Foreign Minister who is in India has talked words like we want co operation not confrontation and appealed to the Indian Citizens and Political establishment to trust an elected government.
The encounter at Taj Hotel is still continuing and the exact number of terrorists in there. Nariman House is finally liberated, but there is huge amount of anger that has begining to emerge amongst the man on the street and they are totally disgusted with the political establishment of the country. The manner in which BJP and Narendra Modi are trying to earn political milage out of this. There are sms's going around the country about Raj Thackeray who wanted North Indians out of Mumbai and it is a commondo team from North India sacrificing their life in Mumbai.
It is indeed sad that the cheap politics has generated such hatered for them overall. I hope we see some matured behaviour and media has totally shunned the political class in their coverage of the event.
Update 15:43 IST All the news channels are now on air in Mumbai and it has been clarified that reports of fresh attacks in public places were indeed false. It is a also being reported that the Oberoi Trident operation is finally over. The sad part is that 30 dead bodies that have been receoverd from there.
Taj Hotel operation is still continuing.
Update 14:32 IST: The reports about new firing in public places has been refuted by the police and the new channels are still off air so it is impossible for the general public to get the clear picture.
Update 14:02 IST All the news channels have been taken off air in Mumbai and news channels are reporting that it was a false alarm, but eye witnesses in the city are saying otherwise.
All the employees in offices have been told not to move out of their office and waiting for information that is scarce to come by as the news channels have been blocked.
Eyewitnesses are reporting that people can hear gun fire near Bombay Central station.
Update 13:24 Mumbai Under Attack again
Terrorists have started firing at VT and CST stations in Mumbai and people are advised not to venture out. The situation is getting worse and people are stuck in their ofices. It is also advisable not to take trains.
The situation is pretty grim.
Update 12:17 PM IST: Taj Operation Still Not Over
It is now being reported that there could be 3 to 4 terrorists with some unconfirmed reports of hostages inside the old wing of Taj Mahal Hotel. It seems that the earlier reports of the Taj operation being over were a bit too early. It is however believed that the New wing of Taj is free of terrorists as of now. There is still abject confusion about the operations and people who are desparately looking for a closure to this episode are realizing that the end is still not in sight.
The Nariman House encounter is still continuing. It was earlier reported that all the Isreali hostages were rescued, but now it is being reported on News channels that there could be some hostages there also.
The most astonishing thing about the media (Electronic) coverage is total absence of the voice of the common man. There are celebrities discussing/ shouting their lungs out, but there are very few "common man" and point of view, he may not be going to the five star hotels but he too got killed at the Railway station and firing on the road but he is totally missing on the airwaves.
Mumbai 28th November 2008: The city is sporting a deserted look and the gunbattle is still continuing at Hotel Trident, Nariman House and NDTV 24 x 7 is reporting that the operation is still continuing at the Taj.
The politicians are still doing the rounds of the city and I saw the cavalcade of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tilak Bridge near Dadar and the common man without Z plus security were made to wait ina small traffic jam at the Dadar TT circle in Mumbai. The commom man is still trying to pick up the pieces of his life that has been shattered in 36 hours and will be forced to accept this as part of his life.
The Mumbai Stock exchange will open today and trading would resume on the brouses. The roads otherwise wear a deserted look all across the city and the attendance in the office is very low so far. Roads from Chembur leading into the city and SION hardly had traffic and one could go from Chembur to Worli in less than 30 odd minutes which on a normal day would take 30 minutes.
I talked to a cab driver in the city and he was very emotional and went on to the extent of praising the terrorists that they come and kill in one go, otherwise the politicians kill him every day a little at a time. This is the kind of pessimism that is prevailing on the street of Mumbai and there is a huge sense of anger towards the Political parties that have been fighting with each other and scoring political milage.
Today the city will be counting and cremating its dead!
Update 07:36 IST Day 2 Mumbai: Mumbai is still fighting back the terrorists, there is an encounter that is continuing in Nariman House with air force helicopter firing at the terrorists housed inside the building and a similar operation is continuing at the Oberoi Trident where last 1 or 2 terrorist are supposed to be hiding.
People in Mumbai are waking up to their newspaers and here are some of the headlines:
The Times of India: City at Gunpoint, Foreign Nationals in terror Crosshairs, Hostage DRAMA Ends at Taj, On at Oberoi and Nariman House, Hijacked Ship with satellite Phone siezed, Search for Sabina Continues ( a background - Sabina was a TOI Consulting Editor staying at Taj) It is strange that they chose to use the word DRAMA to describe the hostage crisis, the otherwise rash Indian News Channels were more respective towards the hostage situation. DRAMA!!??
DNA Headlines: Taj Taken, Oberoi Next, Commandos vs Fidayeen (suiside attackers), Whodunit? Pak, Queda link seen and a story on ATS Chief Karkare and a front page Editorial If you cant Protect, Quit
Hindustan Times In Flames and Fighting, Whodunnit, Lakshar is the Prime Suspect, a first person account from its sister publication MINT reporter at Taj, The age of suicide fighters, global Jihad.
As you read down all the stories were covered yesterday in this post.
Update from Taj Mahal Hotel: 22:08 NSG has finally claimed that all the terrorists inside the hotel have been neutralised and the hotel has been finally reclaimed.
Update from Nariman House: 21:56 IST NSG has taken up positions around this building where Israeli Citizens are held up and looks like that the final operation is underway to end the hostage crisis. The main focus of Indian Media has been on happenings at Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi Trident and this stream of hostage crisis has been largely ignored by mainline media channels. Early in the day a your kid was rescued from Nariman House. The electricity to the building was cut some time back.
Some of the other breaking news at this time is that one mobile phone (reported earlier) and a satellite phone has been recovered from the terrorists.
Update 21:17 Al Kabeer has been held off the cost of Gujarat and one of the cellphones recovered from the terrorist is revealing Pakistan connection as there are still calls being received from Pakistan.
Update 20:51 IST Two malls next to the ITC Fortune in Navi Mumbai have been shut down and the hotel itself has been vacated. There is moderate police presence at the hotel, but the roads leading to and from the hotel is open to traffic and vehicles slow down and watch towards the hotel out of curiosity.
Meanwhile M V Alpha that was detained by Indian Navy has been released, I guess media jumped the gun to blame the ship and its links with Pakistan. It is also being reported that all the guests and staff have been rescued from Taj Mahal Hotel. In the ensuing operation 4 terrorists have been killed so far. Operation in Oberoi Hotel has made sure that 39 of the trapped people have been rescued and the operation is still underway. Indian Army expects all the encounters to last the whole night and maybe except closure tomorrow morning.
Update 18:44 Terror threat is closer home with ITC Fortune hotel in Navi Mumbai a few kilometers from my residence has received a bomb threat and is being emptied. Tracking this story for close to 24 hours there was some sense of distance but now the threat real or hoax has come to my virtual doorsteps.
Update 18:25 News channels are reporting that the security sources are saying that the terrorists are well equipped to last a few days and they have enough supplies in terms of both foods and firepower.
There are some more reports of NSG commandos coming out injured from the Oberoi and the last leg is taking time to weed out the terrorists.
Update 18:07 Ratan Tata talking to media persons in Bombay House clearly stated that the government needs to get its act together faster than what they have done till now, sounded clearly upset from the lessons that were not learned after the 1993 blasts. It has been 15 long years but still the terrorists can strike at will at the place and time of their choice.
All the multiplexes are to remain closed in Mumbai.
Update 17:17 Times Now is breaking news that one terrorist named Ismile from Faridkot in Pakistan has been arrested from Hotel Oberoi, they are yet to confirm the same form the police. The Prime Minister of India in an address to the nation has already claimed that the terrorists are from outside the country. If confirmed this news will be the first direct proof linking Pakistani Nationals and thus Pakistan based terrorist groups to this attack. There is already news that a Merchant vessal has been intercepted at the high seas. Unlike the past so far no direct fingures have been aimed at Pakistan based terrorists groups.
Update 17:02 First set of good news coming out of Oberoi Hotel about 9 individuals have been rescued from the hotel. There are still 200 odd people trapped inside the hotel and out of these 30 to 40 are supposed to be held hostage inside the hotel.
Far from the media glare there is a third operation at Nariman House that is under way since morning. Here some Israeli citizens are being held hostage. The operation is being done in a painstakingly slow manner so as to avoid collateral damage. It is almost 20 hourse since this story unfolded and the terrorists are still engaging forces. During the course of the day it seemed that the final assult is being made but the end game is still eluding Mumbai.
Update 16:40 Indian Army GoC R K Hooda talking with Media explained that there are 800 rooms and the best unit of the Indian Army and NSG going from room to room to take the Taj Hotel back from the terrorists.
Update 16:25 Suspected terrorist ship M V Alpha has been reached by helicopters of Indian Navy and India Navy Vessel Vindhyagiri was involved in the hunt, some 16 Nautical Miles off the Indian Shores. The ship is suspected of ferrying the terrorists to Indian Shores. There is another merchant vessel suspected to be involved in aiding the terrorist is being persued on the high seas.
In the latest update 5-7 terrorists are still inside the Taj Hotel. There have also been reports of another grenade explosion at Taj Mahal hotel, this was 19th blast and the biggest so far. The operation is still underway and looks far from over in any of the hotels.
Update 14:25 Taj Hotel Update
Taj has lost about 15 to 17 of its personnel in the attack including 5 chefs and the total casualties from Taj alone is expected to be about 60 and the total death toll will go way higher than the 101 that have been confirmed till now.
The nationality of three of the six foreign nationals is as follows: One is British Citizen, One Australian and One Japanese. The crisis is now taking an international dimension with upto 6% of the dead are non Indian Nationals and it is assumed that the profile of Hostages at Oberoi is also skewed toward foreign nationals.
Update 14:11 IST: All international flights have been cancelled out of Mumbai and in a related news Slain Encounter Specialist Salaskar is being cremated today and Hemant Karkare will be laid to rest on Saturday. Leader of opposition A K Advani wanted to visit the city but the government has been able to talk him out of it.
Currently the terrorists are holed up on the 19th floor of the Oberoi Hotel in Nariman Point. Nariman point is the heart of Indian Business and it has been thrown in total disarray.
Update 14:00 IST: Indian Air Force has pressed 10 aircrafts to airlift troops into Mumbai and one Infantry brigade has also arrived from the neighbouring city of Pune. These are th helpline numbers: Taj helpline numbers: 022 - 66574322, 66574372, 1800111825. Oberoi helpline number: 011-23890606
Update 13:49 IST:
Taj Mahal Hostage Crisis Over
A N Roy DGP State of Maharashtra has gone on record that Hostage situation in Taj Hotel is over and the guests remaining in the hotel are holed up in their rooms, this would mean that all the terrorists there have been neutralized. The level of operation is indicative of the fact that they were highly trained and motivated to die.He goes on to say that the terrorist will either be captured or killed. The terrorists are still there inside Taj Mahal Hotel but they are no longer holding hostages!!
He went on to confirm that 14 Police officials have sacrificed their life including three top ATS officers and about 28 are injured. He clearly denied any talks of negotiating with the terrorists. He was almost in tears talking about the death of his senior most Anti Terror Squad.
Update 13:33 PM IST: The death toll has mounted to 101 including 14 police personnel and 6 foreigners. The three encounters viz. Taj Hotel, Oberoi and Nariman House (where Israeli family is being held hostage. Talking to people all around the city reveals that almost everyone is at home and are tracking the story through news channels. J K Dutt the head of NSG is aiming to end the hostage crisis before sunset. These type of suiside attacks are very common in the Kashmir Valley till some time back but it has never happened at such a scale in any Indian Metro.
There are 10 to 12 terrorists are holding up to 40 people hostage, news channels are speculating that Government is negotiating with the terrorist for safe release of the hostages, but this is still unconfirmed. NSG commandos are going room by room and securing each and every floor of the Oberoi Hotel.
5 slain foreigners have been identified and now there is some confirmation that there were attacks at about 11 places in Mumbai. The England Cricket team is mulling returning home as it is the same Taj Mahal Hotel where they stayed when they had arrived in India for the current tour of India. The last two one day cricket matches have been postponed.
Update 9:13 AM: Rescue operation is in progress at Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba and Curfew has been imposed to sanitize the area for the final push to release the hostages. School and colleges across the state have been closed. Almost all the offices except those of the Media (TV and Print Organization) are closed. Most of the companies have decleared holidays as it is pretty risky to venture out at this point of time. Last night a lot of people working late at offices stayed put till such time that things became clear and reached their homes today morning.
Update: 8:08 AM IST: Mumbai woke up terrorised with all the schools and colleges shut and there is news that hostages are still being held up inside Taj and Oberoi. People are calling up each other and checking out if people are going to office or not. Most of the Mumbai citizens preferring to stay home and making sense of the situation. The Mumbai Stock Exchange will also be closed for the day. Mumbai usually comes alive by this time but there are almost no people on the roads of Mumbai. A city that never sleeps even during the night is virtually under self imposed curfew. Number of Policemen who died in the line of fire has gone up to 11. Reports suggest that Trident hotel also has a hostage situation and employees working in nearby buildings like Express Towers are holed insides their offices as they do not feel safe to move out. 6 people are still being held hostage at the Trident.
The elite commondos of National Security Guard (NSG) and Marine Commandos (Marcos) are expected to make a move. News coming in say that a family has been taken in a residential building viz. Nariman House where Isreali / Jewish families are being held hostage. Mumbai: They dress like terrorists, wear long beards, move about like militants and even tote AK-47 assault rifles. The Marine Commandos of the Indian Navy, whom the sailors call `Marcos', follow in letter and spirit the adage of the counter-insurgency doctrine: fight an insurgent like an insurgent. The `Marcos' stole the show at the special naval investiture here on Tuesday when Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta pinned Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) on the chests of three of them for outsmarting foreign terrorists in movement and action, being barely seconds ahead of them. The trio had ambushed several foreign militants. The Marcos, officially called the Indian Marine Special Force, were raised in the 1980s out of naval divers to lead amphibious operations and clear beaches for the main body of troops. Being divers they could reach hostile shores swimming underwater. They could sabotage enemy vessels and harbour installations. These diving commandos were deployed in Kashmir for militants were using water bodies such as lakes, rivers and ravines to take cover. Soon they became famous as ``dareewali fauj [bearded force]'' among the militants. ``If civilians see us they would surely mistake us for militants for we look like them but militants would know who we are. If they spot us from a distance, they fire but if spotted nearby they try to run away and that is the time we go for a kill,'' Petty Officer Ram Mehar told The Hindu . With the support of his buddy, Ram Mehar had `eliminated' two operatives of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He was a few seconds ahead of the Pakistani irregulars.
News now coming in says that 26 terrorist had entred via the sea route and had planned to carry out their plan on 26th November. They avoided the land route as there are various road block on the roudes of Mumbai. An abondoned boat with explosives has been discovered in the Gateway of India (Colaba area) of South Mumbai.
Small description of work done by Marcos:
Mumbai: They dress like terrorists, wear long beards, move about like militants and even tote AK-47 assault rifles. The Marine Commandos of the Indian Navy, whom the sailors call `Marcos', follow in letter and spirit the adage of the counter-insurgency doctrine: fight an insurgent like an insurgent.
The `Marcos' stole the show at the special naval investiture here on Tuesday when Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta pinned Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) on the chests of three of them for outsmarting foreign terrorists in movement and action, being barely seconds ahead of them. The trio had ambushed several foreign militants.
The Marcos, officially called the Indian Marine Special Force, were raised in the 1980s out of naval divers to lead amphibious operations and clear beaches for the main body of troops. Being divers they could reach hostile shores swimming underwater. They could sabotage enemy vessels and harbour installations. These diving commandos were deployed in Kashmir for militants were using water bodies such as lakes, rivers and ravines to take cover. Soon they became famous as ``dareewali fauj [bearded force]'' among the militants.
``If civilians see us they would surely mistake us for militants for we look like them but militants would know who we are. If they spot us from a distance, they fire but if spotted nearby they try to run away and that is the time we go for a kill,'' Petty Officer Ram Mehar told The Hindu .
With the support of his buddy, Ram Mehar had `eliminated' two operatives of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. He was a few seconds ahead of the Pakistani irregulars.
Update 3:34 AM IST: Further some people are rumored to be stuck in the pub in Colaba Bootleggers and have heard gunfire outside the pub. Another unconfirmed report states that the staircase in Taj is full of dead bodies. If the story is confirmed later, there is another tragady to be discovered as the night progresses. The Dome on top of the old wing of Taj Mahal Hotel (it is about 100 years old) has caught fire and it is not cleat whether it is the terrorists or the operation against them that has caused the fire. Finally 100 people have been rescued from Taj Mahal Hotel. It seems that the state government is waiting for the elite NSG commandos to carry out the final operation.
As of now fire engines are putting off the fire at the Taj. Right there is no new news coming out of the hostage crisis from Mumbai.
Update 2:56 AM IST: 3 Members of Indian Parliament and about 100 tourists are still stuck inside the Taj Mahal hotel and the terrorists have thrown a hand grinade at the army commandos who are trying to enter the hotel and take control of the situation.
Update 2:32 AM IST: The modus Operandi of the terrorist is becoming clear after five hours of the biggest terrorist strike that India has every faced and it is a first any where in the World where a megapolis like Mumbai is attacked in such a coordinated manner. It is believed that terrorists attacked 12 locations in Mumbai. They opened fire with AK 47 and grinades on general public and exploded bombs. They smoothly moved to Hospitals and took hostages there. Currently Mumbai has a hostage situation in three locations viz. Hotel Oberoi Nariman Point, Taj Mahal Hotel Colaba and Cama Hospital. Reports on various TV channels indicate the terrorists have killed two hostages at Cama hospital and the patients there are going through hell as they cannot be moved as fast as hotel guests. In selecting hostages in Five Star hotels the terrorists tried to get UK and US citizens as their first preference.
Anti Terrorist Squad (ATD) lost its top leadership and in total three TOP officials of Mumbai police have laid down their life in teh line of duty and another one is seriously injured. Currently Army and Navy is conducting an operation to rescue the hostages from teh above mentioned three locations.
Update 2:13 AM IST:
The situation in Mumbai has now converted into a hostage situation. The army has surrounded the Taj Mahal and Oberoi, Naval commandos are said to have entered the hotels to end the hostage situation. Their main aim is to salvage the situation and save the foreign nationals that have been taken hostage. It is now reported that three employees of Taj Mahal hotel have been killed by the terrorists.
The city of Mumbai is on the edge!!
Update: 1:41 AM IST:
Head of Mumbai Anti Terror Squad Hemant Karkare has laid down his life fighting the terrorist. Vijay Salaskar who was the encounter specialist of Mumbai police also laid down his life. Death of three very senior police officers brings the seriousness of the situation to the fore. Mumbai police is in the forefront of the counter strike to take back Mumbai. Army commandos are also being rushed to Mumbai. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra who was in South Indian State of Kerala is returning to Mumbai.
It is now feared that more than 78 people including 6 policemen including 3 IPS (Indian Police Services) are feared killed and over 200 are injured, the figure could be higher as the attacks are spread all over the city and details are still trickling in.
Update 12:47 AM IST:
200 commandos are on their way from New Delhi and one ACP of police has been killed in encounter with the terrorist. St George Hospital has already received 50 plus dead bodies and various news channels are reporting 12 to 24 separate attacks. At this point the actual number of unique locations is still vague. Five star Hotels in Posh South Mumbai area, Train Stations and Hospitals haven been attacked complete picture still illudes the media and public at large!!
One eye witness Rakesh Patel from London and currently based in Hong Kong spoke to Indian news channel NDTV and described his encounter with the terrorists. He was taken from the restaurant to 18th floor by "two terrorists aged 20 to 25 years were looking for foreigners with British and US passports and took them hostage in Taj Mahal Hotel. " Television pictures show the Dome of the old Taj Hotel right now.
Terrorists have taken 40 people hostages in Hotel Oberoi and Indian Army has been asked to be on standby. The encounter is still on after 4 odd hours shows that the terrorists are prepared for long haul. Elite commondos of National Security Guard (NSG) have been pressed into action. Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba was hosting a conference of Hindsutan Unilever Limited and the Managing Director of the company and its employees are also feared to be trapped inside the hotel.
It is now confirmed that 5 terrorists escaped from near Metro Cinema in a police van throwing grinades and firing from AK 47 assult rifles.
Update 12:08 AM IST:
Another update coming in is that Terrorists have escaped in a police van from near Metro Cinema, reporters at the venue are reporting that they were firing from the van and escaped. Police is out in full force and weapons drawn and are checking all major junctions. As Mumbai is the hub of major refinaries there is huge police presence around these locations.
There are terrorists still inside Hotel Oberoi and Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba, this is one of the oldest hotels in the country and overlooks the Gateway of India. Pictures on Television channels clearly show the hotel being surrounded by Armed policeman. It is also reported that there are a few Member of Parliament staying in The Taj Mahal Hotel. There are guests still trapped inside the Oberoi Hotel. It is feared that four terrorist are still inside the Oberoi Hotel. Prime Minister of India has confirmed that there are five blasts.
Trains on the Central Line have been stopped. Mazgaon area and Mumbai office of Intellegence is also under attack.
Financial Capital of India Mumbai is under attack. In a first of its kind terrorist action in India and also anywhere in the world, a city of the size of 15 million plus is under sieze. The attacks started at 9:30 PM IST and there were attacks in at least seven places simultaneously. It is a first for the terrorist to come out in open and fire at public with AK 47 and Hand grinades.
The seven places are : Taj Hotel, Trident Hotel, Oberoi Nariman Point, Leopold Cafe in Colaba, Santa Cruz, Vile Parle.
Right now there are encounters are reported from
Cama Hospital and J J Hospital, Oberoi Hotel as of now. Four international Cricket teams were to stay in Taj Hotel where some guests are still being held hostage.
There are reports that two of the most reputed hotels in the city viz. Hotel Oberoi at Nariman Point in Post South Mumbai and the second one is Taj in Colaba. Both the hotels have 20 plus stories. As per more news pouring in another hotel trident has also been attacked. Explosions are also reported from Santa Cruz, Vile Parle and capital cinema. suiside attackars are inside the hotel and there are reports of encounter continuing.
There are reports that one of the busiest railway station of local trains VT station is also under siege, the local trains are the lifeline of the city Mumbai.
Injuries: It is reported that at least 12 individuals are injured, three policemen are seriously injured. Police is reporting that bombs and guns have been used in the attack. SO far there are no reports of any arrests so far. It is feared that four to five gunmen have entered the two hotels and are still un accounted for.
* Colaba: Petrol pump blown up * 10 killed in Colaba attack * Gun battle outside Metro cinema hall * Hotel Oberoi, Hotel Taj under siege * RAF considering commando action, may storm hotels * Local trains suspended Mumbai: At least four people are reported to have been killed and 15 are injured as unidentified groups of gunmen opened fire in at least four places across south Mumbai on Wednesday night. * CJ: Are you there? Send us pics, videos Mumbai police confirm it is a terrorist attack. The five-star Hotel Oberoi is under siege and gunmen are reported to have held the occupants hostage. Reports say 10 gunmen are holed up inside Hotel Oberoi. Firing and gunshots are also reported from CST Railway Terminus, the popular Café Leopold restaurant and Cama Hospital - all in south Mumbai. Hotels under siege The first incident took place at between 2215 hrs IST and 2230 hrs IST when bullets, apparently from automatic weapons, were fired at police and paramilitary forces outside the Taj Hotel in south Mumbai. The next, near simultaneous shooting took place near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus police station in which six people were injured. Police have cordoned off the CST Railway Terminus, a crowded place at this time of the evening, and have stopped entry. Press Trust of India reports two persons armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades are holed up inside the CST station. PTI also reports three people, employees of Taj Hotel in South Mumbai, were killed after being fired upon by terrorists and an equal number of people died in a bomb blast in a taxi at Dockyard Road. The lobby of Hotel Oberoi is reportedly on fire. At CST Unidentified persons opened fire near Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, headquarters of the Central Railway, which is a world heritage building and remains crowded almost throughout the day. Local train services to and from CST have been suspended. A police official said he saw two people, armed with automatic weapons at CST. "They opened indiscriminate fire and fled inside. They are reported to be holed up between platform seven and eight," he said. Two more blasts have been reported from Majhgaon and BPT Colony.