M A I N   N E W S

Terror over Mumbai
80 killed in deadly shootings, blasts

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the situation was “grave” in the terror-hit Mumbai and asked the Centre to provide more security forces

Mumbai, November 26
At least 80 persons were killed and 250 injured when terrorists struck with impunity in the country’s financial capital tonight setting off coordinated multiple blasts and gunfire in a dozen areas across the metropolis including the crowded CST railway station and two five-star hotels — Oberoi and Taj. The Army was called in to assist in defusing the situation.

As indiscriminate firing and explosions at iconic landmarks showed no signs of easing since the first attack at Leopold restaurant in Colaba area at about 9.30 pm. The Army moved in while 200 NSG commandoes were rushed to Mumbai from Delhi as terrorists did not even spare hospitals like GT and Cama where gunfire was reported. The police and eyewitnesses said AK-47s, rifles and hand grenades were used at will by an unspecified number of terrorists.

Photos: PTI
Photos: PTI
The old Taj Hotel in Mumbai, the dome of which was on fire when terrorists attempted to blow it up when reports last came in.
The old Taj Hotel in Mumbai, the dome of which was on fire when terrorists attempted to blow it up when reports last came in.

Around 60 bodies and over 200 persons were injured were brought at St George’s Hospital, hospital sources said. There were reports that a foreigner and a policeman was among the killed.

Two suspected terrorists escaping in a Skoda car were gunned down after an encounter with the police in the Girgaum area. Several live bombs were also defused.

The police said terrorists were still holed up in Oberoi and Taj and commandoes entered the two luxury hotels and the encounter continued past midnight, nearly four hours after the luxury hotels were targeted. The two hotels were rocked by multiple blasts. There were at least two explosions in the dome of the Taj.

The lobby of the Oberoi hotel was ablaze. There were reports that there might be a hostage like situation. Scores of hotel guests were also evacuated. There were also reports that Marriot hotel in Juhu was also targeted.

An eyewitness said two young men dressed in jeans barged into a restaurant in the Oberoi hotel and asked for American and British passport holders. Police said in all there were seven blasts and five firing incidents as the unprecedented terror strike brought the western metropolis to its knees.

Loud blast was also heard from the terrace of the Taj hotel. Firing was also reported near the Maharashtra state Assembly building in south Mumbai.

Armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades, a couple of terrorists entered the passenger hall of CST and opened fire and threw grenades, Mumbai General Railway Police Commissioner A.K. Sharma said.

Maharashtra DGP A N Roy said tonight’s attack in “at least seven places” is a “terror strike.” The terror attack at Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly known as the Victoria Terminus(VT), claimed 10 lives in the premises of the station alone, the police said. Three persons were killed in a bomb explosion in a taxi on Mazegaon dockyard road and an equal number were gunned down at Taj Hotel. The victims in the hotel were its employees.

The lobby of the Oberoi hotel was on fire and the hotel evacuated, eyewitnesses said. Sharma said 30 persons were injured in the CST incident

Commandoes were rushed to the CST, which wore a deserted look and train services suspended.

Some people were injured in the firing in Oberoi hotel, and taken to a nearby hospital in police vans and ambulance. — Agencies



200 people holed up in Taj Hotel

We did it, says obscure outfit

Little-known Deccan Mujahideen claims responsiblity for the terror strike in Mumbai. The outfit sent emails to some media houses. — PTI

Mumbai, November 26
About 200 people were tonight holed up inside a hall in the Taj Hotel here as they were advised by the hotel staff not to go out because of the attack by terrorists.

They are holed up in the hall in the old wing of the hotel since 9.30 PM, when terrorists struck. Krishna Das, MP, who was among those held up, said they had been advised not to move out of the hall till the police clears the place of terrorists.

He was having dinner with some friends in a restaurant of the hotel when he heard gunshots. The guests ducked under the table from where they had fleeting glimpse of terrorists who were firing indiscriminately. At least 10 top business executives are also stuck on another floor of the hotel. — PTI



ATS chief Karkare killed

Also killed, IPS officer Ashok Marutirao Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer while fighting terrorists at Metro Cinema in the city along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

Mumbai November 26
Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who was probing the Malegaon blast case, and another senior IPS officer were among three officials killed tonight in separate encounters with terrorists who struck at various places across the city.

54-year-old Karkare was killed when he was leading an operation at hotel Taj against terrorists who had taken 15 people, including seven foreigners, as hostages.

The 1982 batch IPS officer had returned to his state cadre after serving for seven years in Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) at Austria. — PTI



PM condemns terror attacks

New Delhi, November 26
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight condemned the terror attacks in Mumbai and assured all help to Maharashtra in meeting the situation. The Prime Minister’s Office said Singh was in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and was monitoring the situation.

Deshmukh also said that he was in touch with the central government which had assured all help to meet the “very serious” situation. He said he had talked to home minister Shivraj Patil, who assured that the Centre would provide all the assistance required by Maharashtra. The Centre has immediately decided to dispatch National Security Guard commandos to supplement the efforts being made by local police and CRPF, Deshmukh said. “We are trying to control the situation,” he said.

Advani speaks to PM: As Mumbai was struck by terror, leader of the opposition L.K. Advani tonight spoke to Manmohan Singh. Advani called up Singh twice to ascertain details of the terror strikes in Mumbai. — PTI



Two terrorists gunned down

Two terrorists were gunned down by police in Girgaum while they were on the run in a Skoda vehicle, police said. The terrorists were shot dead after their vehicle was intercepted by police following a hot chase, a police official said. They may have been involved in the terror attack in Oberoi hotel In New Delhi, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said two terrorists were killed in a shootout with police. — PTI



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