More news on the terrible attacks in Mumbai is beginning to emerge. Seven simultaneous attacks have been reported, including attacks on The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Mumbai and The Oberoi Mumbai. Other tourist targets have included one of India’s busiest railway stations, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and the Leopold Café. The remaining three locations are the docks at Mazagaon, the Vile Parle suburb of the city and the Cama Hospital. Sixteen armed groups are said to have been patrolling the city. Click here for a Google map of the Mumbai attacks, outlining these 7 locations.
The Taj Mahal Palace has had its top floor engulfed in flames at the southern end of the building. Shootings and at least six explosions have been reported. One eye witness has stated that a gunman opened fire in the hotel lobby. Half a dozen or so hostages are said to be being held at the hotel and commandos have surrounded the buliding.
At the Oberoi Mumbai it is rumoured that forty hostages are being held by three or four gunmen but there seems to be a great deal of uncertainty on this point at this stage. At Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus there have been more shootings and some grenades. Terrorists opened fire in the Leopold Café, not far from the Taj Palace. The siege on the hospital has been cleared by police.
An Islamic terrorist group called the Deccan Mujahideen is claiming responsibility for the attacks. Latest reports are that 84 people have been killed – including some security officials – and 250 injured. 4 suspected terrorists have been killed and 9 arrested.
The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a telephone number for those concerned for family. It is 020 7008 0000. UK nationals in India can register their details with their LOCATE service.
Similarly, the US State Department has issued the number 888 407 4747 for Americans to concerned about family members in Mumbai. Australians should contact the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135.
Thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved in the tragedy.