Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai attacks

MUMBAI (Reuters) - At least 86 people were killed in attacks by gunmen in India's commercial hub Mumbai and security forces began moving on two luxury hotels where foreign hostages were being held, officials and witnesses said on Thursday.

The attacks by small groups of gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades on the hotels and other sites in the city came amid state elections, including in Kashmir, and risk destablising the country ahead of national elections next year.

Police said they had shot dead four gunmen and arrested nine suspects. They said 12 police were killed, including Hemant Karkare, the chief of the police anti-terrorist squad in Mumbai.

"The situation is still not under control and we are trying to flush out any more terrorists hiding inside the two hotels," said Vilasrao Deshmukh, Maharashtra chief minister.

In Pictures :

Pigeons fly as the Taj Hotel continues to burn in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. AP

Scene at the site of a blast in Coilaba, a market in downtown Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008

Fire engulfs a part of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India.-AP Photo


Gunmen have launched co-ordinated attacks at numerous sites in the Indian city of Mumbai, killing at least 78 people and injuring hundreds.

Gunmen have launched co-ordinated attacks at several sites in the Indian city of Mumbai, killing scores. Police told people to stay inside. Warning: Some of the following images contain graphic content.

Fire on the top floor of the Taj Palace Hotel

Among the targets were two of the city's highest profile hotels, taken over by gunmen who entered shooting indiscriminately, witnesses said. At the Taj Mahal Palace, fire engulfed part of the top floor.

An injured man leans on a railing after one of the attacks in Mumbai

ndian television footage showed scenes on chaos on blood-splattered streets. Armed police were searching cars and people, and witnesses spoke of gunmen brandishing machine guns.

Police said at least 10 people were killed in gunfire at the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station.

Mumbai's main railway station was also hit. People fled the huge terminus when gunmen opened fire, leaving their luggage behind as 10 people died.

As well as shootings at luxury hotels, cafes and the train station, there were explosions in Mumbai, India's financial city and a tourist destination.

At least one vehicle exploded in Mumbai, India's main financial centre and a leading tourist destination.

Injured people at hospital in Mumbai after the attacks

As the injured were taken to hospital, an explosion was heard inside the Oberoi Hotel. Hundreds of hostages are said to remain inside the hotel buildings.

People escape from the Taj Palace Hotel

Operations to free those inside continued throughout the night. Many clung onto curtains and clambered to safety.

Policeman in Mumbai

As violence continued several hours after the attacks began, an unknown group calling itself Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

People stand around a damaged vehicle at the site of an explosion in Mumbai

The attacks were condemned by the UK and US governments, whose citizens were apparently targeted by the gunmen.

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