Mumbai Attack Updates

November 27, 2008

The siege ended on Saturday 29/11/2008 after the remaining terrorists were killed. The death toll stands at 195.

Update at 19.45pm 28/11/2008: The Taj Palace Hotel still remains unsecured with a few terrorists continuing to battle against Indian Forces. It appears that the terrorists are very well trained and equally well armed and able to take the siege into a third night.

Update at 15.10pm 28/11/2008: 155 people now being reported as killed with 327 wounded. The seige at the Jewish Centre has ended with 5 hostages and 2 terrorists reported as killed. Fighting is still ongoing at the Taj Palace Hotel. 

Update at 12.50pm 28/11/2008: UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith says the government has no information regarding reports that some of the gunmen may have been British citizens. ‘It’s important that we make judgements on this on the basis of the fullest possible knowledge and intelligence – and that’s obviously what we are working on at the moment.’

Rumours persist of someone from the UK being involved. I suspect there is more to this story than what the official Government line is.  

Update at 10.00 am 28/11/2008: All hostages have been released at the Oberoi Hotel according to CNN. Commandos have abseiled onto the roof of the Mumbai Jewish Centre and the operation is ongoing. Another huge explosion heard at the Taj Palace Hotel.

There are rumours that one of the gunmen may have been British and a lot of finger pointing is going on at Pakistan with the Indian foreign minister saying that ‘elements with links to Pakistan’ were involved. 

Update at 16.15pm: 24 hours after the siege started and gunfire is still being heard from the three sites in Mumbai where the hostages are holed up. Not very clear what is happening due to conflicting reports and differing versions of events.

Update at 15.00pm: CNN is reporting that the death toll from the Mumbai attacks stands at 125 with 327 injured.

Update at 14.00pm: One British national among the dead in Mumbai attack according to Foreign Office. A fire has broken out at the Oberoi Hotel and there are conflicting reports on the hostage situation and whether any have been released.

It remains unclear who the Deccan Mujahideen are and whether this name is being used by an existing terror group seeking to hide its identity.

Update at 12.20pm: India’s PM Manmohan Singh has said that he will take whatever measures are necessary to track down those responsible for the Mumbai attacks. He added that the perpetrators were based outside the country and that India would not tolerate neighbours who provide a haven to militants targeting it. A bit reckless and premature to be pointing the finger at Pakistan when the siege hasn’t even ended?

Update @ 10.40am 27/11/2008 : The hostage situation is still ongoing with explosions heard at the Oberoi Hotel. The Times is reporting that the terrorists are demanding that all ‘mujahideen’ held in Indian jails are freed before they release the hostages.

All financial markets in India have been closed as well as all public places in Mumbai. My relatives have managed to get to Mumbai Central Railway station and are on their way home after a delay of 90 minutes.

Update @ 22.30pm 26/11/2008: It is being reported that there are three separate hostage situations the authorities are dealing with.

Update @ 22.50pm 26/11/2008: Up to 50 people have been rescued from the fire at the Taj Palace Hotel. Gunfire continuing to be heard at the Oberoi Hotel.

Update @ 22.25pm 26/11/2008: The Taj Palace Hotel is on fire and a group calling itself the ‘Deccan Mujahideen’ has claimed responsibility for the attacks. (A group calling itself ‘Indian Mujahideen’ claimed responsibility for the attacks in Ahmedabad in July 2008)

My relatives in Mumbai have twice had the vehicle they were travelling in stopped and searched by Police before being allowed to move on.


Mumbai Attack

November 26, 2008

At least 78 101 people have been killed and 250 have been injured in multiple shootings across Mumbai by terrorists. CNN is reporting that hostages including western tourists have been taken at the Taj Palace Hotel and the Oberoi Hotel. The army has been called in to deal with the terrorists holed up in several locations.  Three very senior police officers including the head of Mumbai’s anti-terrorism unit have been killed.

I have had contact with relatives who are currently in Mumbai who inform me that the situation is very tense.

The attack appears extremely well coordinated with eight ten sites frequented by western tourists being targeted by the terrorists. More later