At least 101 people have been killed and more than 250 injured in Mumbai in one of the worst terrorist attacks on Indian soil. At time or writing the situation remains grave with some of the perpetrators reportedly holed up in two luxury hotels, the Taj and Oberoi Trident, and exchanging gunfire with security forces.
The Times of India reports: “In one of the most violent terror attacks on Indian soil, Mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy machine guns including AK-47s and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets – the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard – killing at least 101 and sending hundreds of injured to hospital.”
The paper says six foreigners have been killed along with the chief of the city’s anti-terror squad. “Anyone with British or American passports they wanted to know,” British citizen Rakesh Patel told Sky News in an apparent confirmation that the attackers were targeting tourists.
The Times of India reports that a previously unknown outfit, Deccan Mujahideen, has claimed responsibility. A militant told a local news channel that there were seven attackers holding hostages inside the Oberai, while the Deccan Herald, which describes it as “India’s most audacious terrorist attack”, reports the army as saying there are 40 to 50 hostages remaining in the Taj. According to the BBC, four of the attackers have been killed and nine arrested. It reports that seven UK citizens are known to be among the injured and an Israeli family are feared captured by gunmen.
In the Times of London, Jeremy England writes: “Last night’s attacks also appear to fit into a new campaign to hit busy urban targets, popular with foreigners and wealthy Indians, to cause maximum damage to India’s economy and international reputation.”
He suggests Deccan Mujahideen could be an offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamist group unknown until it said it was behind multiple bomb attacks on Indian cities in the past year.
Vinu has posted a series of photos of the aftermath of the attack on Flickr.
On the India Uncut blog, Amit Varma details his escape from the attacks after leaving a hotel.
“We stepped out again, and as we did so we heard gunshots and saw people running towards us from the left side. One of the hotel employees rushed out and told us to get back in. ‘There must have been an encounter,’ he said. ‘Get back in, you’ll be safe inside.’
“We followed him in. We waited in the lounge bar upstairs for a while. The big screen there was showing cricket. India won. Then someone changed the channel. That’s when we realised that this was much more than a random police encounter or a couple of gunshots.”
Based on an extract from the Wrap, guardian.co.uk’s roundup of the day’s news