Last three gunmen killed in Mumbai – Malaysiakini

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 A 60-hour terror rampage that killed 195 people across India’s financial capital ended Saturday when commandos killed the last three gunmen inside a luxury hotel while it was engulfed in flames.

Authorities searched for any remaining captives hiding in their rooms and began to shift their focus to who was behind the attacks, which killed 18 foreigners including six Americans.

A previously unknown Muslim group with a name suggesting origins inside India claimed responsibility for the attack, but Indian officials said the sole surviving gunman was from Pakistan and pointed a finger of blame at their neighbor and rival.

Islamabad denied involvement and promised to help in the investigation. A team of FBI agents also was on its way to India to lend assistance.

Some 295 people also were wounded in the violence that started when at least a dozen heavily armed assailants attacked 10 sites across Mumbai on Wednesday night. At least 20 soldiers and police were among the dead.

Orange flames and black smoke engulfed the landmark 565-room Taj Mahal hotel after dawn Saturday as Indian forces ended the siege there in a hail of gunfire, just hours after elite commandos stormed a Jewish center and found nine hostages dead.

“There were three terrorists, we have killed them,” said J.K. Dutt, director general of India’s elite National Security Guard commando unit.

Later, adoring crowds surrounded six buses carrying weary, unshaven commandos, shaking their hands and giving them flowers. The commandos, dressed in black fatigues, said they had been ordered not to talk about the operation, but said they had not slept since the ordeal began. One sat sipping a bottle of water and holding a pink rose.

With the end of one of the most brazen terror attacks in India’s history, attention turned from the military operation to questions of who was behind the attack and the heavy toll on human life.

The bodies of New York Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, were found at the Jewish center. Their son, Moshe, who turned 2 on Saturday, was scooped up by an employee Thursday as she fled the building. Two Israelis and another American were also killed in the house, said Rabbi Zalman Schmotkin, a spokesman for the Chabad Lubavitch movement, which ran the center.

Among the foreigners killed were six Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy. The dead also included Germans, Canadians, Israelis and nationals from Britain, Italy, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Singapore.

By Saturday morning the death toll was at 195, the deadliest attack in India since 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai killed 257 people. But officials said the toll from the three days of carnage was likely to rise as more bodies were brought out of the hotels.

“There is a limit a city can take. This is a very, very different kind of fear. It will be some time before things get back to normal,” said Ayesha Dar, a 33-year-old homemaker.

Indians began cremating their dead, many of them security force members killed fighting the gunmen. In the southern city of Bangalore, black clad commandos formed an honor guard for the flag-draped coffin of Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed in the fighting at the Taj Mahal hotel.

“He gave up his own life to save the others,” Dutt said from Mumbai.

Bhushan Gagrani, the Maharashtra state government spokesman, told The Associated Press that at least 11 gunmen had been killed and one captured alive.

On Saturday the Indian navy said it was investigating whether a trawler found drifting off the coast of Mumbai, with a bound corpse on board, was used in the attack.

Navy spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar said the trawler, named Kuber, had been found Thursday and was brought to Mumbai. Officials said they believe the boat had sailed from a port in the neighboring state of Gujarat.

Indian security officers believe many of the gunmen may have reached the city using a black and yellow rubber dinghy found near the site of the attacks.

A group called Deccan Mujahideen, which alludes to a region in southern India traditionally ruled by Muslim kings, claimed responsibility for the attack, but Indian officials pointed the finger at neighboring Pakistan.

Jaiprakash Jaiswal, India‘s home minister, said the captured gunman had been identified as a Pakistani.

“According to preliminary information, some elements in Pakistan are responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks,” India’s foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, told reporters.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani insisted his country was not involved. His government was sending an intelligence official to assist in the probe.

In the U.S., President-elect Barack Obama said he was closely monitoring the situation. “These terrorists who targeted innocent civilians will not defeat India’s great democracy, nor shake the will of a global coalition to defeat them,” he said in a statement.

On Friday, commandos killed the last two gunmen inside the luxury Oberoi hotel, where 24 bodies had been found, authorities said.

But in the most dramatic of the counterstrikes Friday, masked Indian commandos rappelled from a helicopter to the rooftop of the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center.

For nearly 12 hours, explosions and gunfire erupted from the five-story building as the commandos fought their way downward, while thousands of people gathered behind barricades in the streets to watch. At one point, Indian forces fired a rocket at the building.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel’s Channel 1 TV that some of the victims found at the center had been bound.

The attackers were well-prepared, carrying large bags of almonds to keep up their energy during a long siege. One backpack found contained 400 rounds of ammunition.

India has been shaken repeatedly by terror attacks blamed on Muslim militants in recent years, but most were bombings striking crowded places: markets, street corners, parks. Mumbai — one of the most highly populated cities in the world with some 18 million people — was hit by a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.

The latest attacks began Wednesday at about 9:20 p.m. with shooters spraying gunfire across the Chhatrapati Shivaji railroad station. For the next two hours, there was an attack roughly every 15 minutes — the Jewish center, a tourist restaurant, one hotel, then another, and two attacks on hospitals.

Five hostages killed in Jewish center, chaos at hotel

The bodies of five hostages have been found at a Jewish center in Mumbai, according to reports, and fighting still rages at a hotel in the city two days after terrorists launched a series of deadly attacks.

Indian army commandos are shown on the rooftop of the Jewish center in Mumbai.

Indian army commandos are shown on the rooftop of the Jewish center in Mumbai.

Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, the city’s envoy for the community, and his wife were among the dead in Chabad House, said Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, a spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch International in the United States.

CNN’s Indian sister network, CNN-IBN, reported the siege at the Chabad House was close to ending but gunfire and explosions continued to ring out from the building.

Israeli Foreign Ministry official spokesman Haim Hoshen told an Israeli news station five bodies were found.

The death toll from Wednesday’s attacks in nine locations was 151 — including three Germans, two Americans, an Italian, a Briton, an Australian and one Chinese among the at least 15 foreigners killed — with a further 327 injured.

The killed Americans have been identified as Alan Scherr, 58, and his daughter Naomi, 13, from Virginia. They were visiting India with a meditation group at died at the Oberoi.

Earlier, police said they had cleared the Oberoi Hotel, killing two militants and freeing hundreds of trapped guests. They found 30 bodies and were searching the building.

However, fighting continued to rage at the Taj Mahal Hotel — where one gunmen was reportedly still holed up.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor told CNN-IBN the gunman was shooting and throwing grenades at security forces.

Gafoor said most of the attackers had been heavily armed.

“They were carrying an AK-assault rifle, one or two hand guns, and grenades.”

Outside, onlookers and reporters cowered behind cars as gunfire was exchanged and explosions could be heard. An AFP journalist was reportedly injured.

R.R. Patel, the Maharashtra home minister, said 11 gunmen had been killed and another captured alive. Fourteen police were dead.

CNN’s International Security Correspondent Paula Newton said UK authorities were checking reports that some of the attackers were of British origin.

Meanwhile, Pranab Mukherjee, the external affairs minister for Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, said the preliminary investigation “indicates that some elements in Pakistan are involved.”

“I can’t tell you the details since the investigation is going on,” he said. “Until the investigation is complete, it will be difficult to say where they came from and how they came.”

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also indicated the gunmen came from Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, in a telephone call with his Pakistani counterpart Friday.

In response, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said he would send the chief of his country’s intelligence agency to help with the investigation.

The gunmen were young men in their 20s who “obviously had to be trained somewhere,” a member of the Indian navy’s commando unit said Friday.

They fired at guests “with no remorse” and knew the layout of the hotels well enough to “vanish” after confronting security forces, the commando said.

“Not everybody can fire the AK series of weapons, not everybody can throw a grenade like that,” the commando said outside the Taj hotel. “It is obvious that they were trained somewhere.”

The shell-shocked city woke Friday to television images of Indian soldiers rappelling down ropes from military choppers on to the roof of Chabab House, which houses the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad community, a Hasidic Jewish movement.

Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife were inside. A cook at the center, who had barricaded herself in a room, grabbed the couple’s 2-year-old son and escaped with another person, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The identity of the attackers remained a mystery. Police said they came by boats to the waterfront near the Gateway of India monument and the two hotels.

The Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country’s western coast after the attack, was questioning the crew of the MV Alpha. Authorities suspect the attacks originated from the ship, which they believe is from Karachi.

Karachi police said they had no evidence the attackers departed from their city.

The Press Trust of India, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal, reported the gunmen had worked for months to prepare, even setting up “control rooms” in the two luxury hotels that were targeted.

Indian authorities said no one had claimed responsibility, although the Deccan Mujahideen took credit in e-mails sent to several Indian news outlets.Interpol said it would send a delegation to India.

“When such coordinated and planned terrorist attacks are carried out against international targets and when a country’s head of government states there are suspected ‘external linkages’, the police in the country concerned require international assistance,” said Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Some captives freed from Mumbai hotel

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At least 25 guests, including at least one infant, were escorted out from a Mumbai hotel and quickly herded into waiting vans Friday. Many of them who appeared to be foreigners.

Paramilitary troopers are shown outside The Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, India, on Friday.

Paramilitary troopers are shown outside The Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, India, on Friday.  

Earlier, the Italian Foreign Ministry had said seven Italian citizens, including a mother and a toddler, were among the hostages inside the Trident hotel.

It was not clear how many people remained inside the hotel.

It was initially believed the guests had been escorted out of The Oberoi, one of two luxury hotels that was attacked more than a day ago, and where an unknown number of guests were still being held by gunmen

The flurry of activity at the Trident came as members of India’s premier counterterrorist force were seeking to end standoffs at two luxury hotels and Jewish center that were attacked late Wednesday.

At least 125 people have died, and more than 300 injured from attacks that began late Wednesday night at seven locations across the Indian financial hub.

J.K. Dutt, the director general of India’s National Security Guard, told CNN’s sister network in India, CNN-IBN, that one gunman at The Oberoi was killed at 1 a.m. Friday (2:30 p.m. ET), but he said he did not know how many remained.

Still, if earlier reports that had put the total number of attackers holed up in the hotel at two were correct, that would leave one.

Outside the Oberoi, activity was occurring, but police asked the news media not to divulge what it was. 

As many as 20 people were thought to be inside the hotel Thursday night, an official said.

Among the hostages inside the Oberoi were seven Italian citizens, including a mother and a toddler, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.

Outside the Taj Mahal early Friday, members of the news media were asked to turn off their lights, but it was not clear what that signified.

Early Friday, a general directing the operation at the hotel told reporters that 15 to 20 hostages remained inside the building, and that all of them were safe. He said two or three gunmen, one of whom was wounded, remained inside the Taj as well.

But outside the Taj Mahal, distraught relatives of guests holed up inside expressed frustration at the way the rescue effort was being handled.

“I have been here since three in the morning on Thursday, that’s nearly 30 hours and, as of now, I have whatsoever no information as to what’s being done to rescue them,” said one woman, whose sister and niece were locked in their room in the Taj Mahal.

She said her relatives had been eating food from the refrigerator in the room.

Explosions and gunfire were heard sporadically at both the Taj Mahal and Hotel Oberoi throughout Thursday. It was not clear what caused the explosions.

Though fires erupted at both hotels, both appeared early Friday to have been extinguished.

At Chabad house — a nearby Jewish center — two or three gunmen were believed to be remaining inside, Dutt said. CNN-IBN reported that all the hostages had been freed.

For hours, gunfire and grenades had been tossed from inside the structure toward anyone approaching the building — three such explosions occurred in four hours.

But just before dawn, several jeeploads of police, firetrucks and at least one ambulance pulled up to the five-story structure.

And as dawn broke, three helicopter passes over 40 minutes dropped about two dozen soldiers onto its roof.

After the last drop, five or six heavy explosions and small-arms fire could be heard.

International hot lines

India: Mumbai: JJ Hospital, 91 22 2373-5555; Mumbai: St. George Hospital, 91 98 6905-0622; Mumbai: Police control room, 91 22 2262-5020, 91 22 2262-1855; New Delhi: Indian External Affairs Ministry: +91-11-23015300

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs offers these numbers: In Australia: 1-800-002 214. Australians overseas, call 61 2 6261-3305.

UK: The British Ministry of Foreign Affairs is directing concerned UK nationals to call 44 (0)20 7008-0000

U.S.: The State Department has established a Consular Call Center: The number is 888-407-4747.

Canada:
For Canadians in India call 1-800-387-3124. In Canada call 613-996-8885.

Other soldiers took positions on adjacent buildings, which had been evacuated Thursday night.

Dozens of onlookers crowded into terraces of nearby buildings and watched as the scene unfolded, punctuated by gunfire and explosions.

Rabbi Josh Runyan, spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch International, said Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, 29, and his wife, Rivka, 28, were believed to still be in the house. He said the couple’s son was safe and with family in Mumbai.

Earlier Thursday, Johny Joseph, chief secretary of the state of Maharashtra — of which Mumbai is the capital — said two women and a child were seen escaping from the building. CNN-IBN reporter Raksha Shetty also said three hostages escaped — apparently a caretaker, a cook and a child.

Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, reported later that Sandra Samuel — a cook for the center who had barricaded herself in a room in the house — said she grabbed Holtzberg’s 2-year-old son and fled the building with another person.

“I just grabbed the baby and ran out,” Samuel told Haaretz.

The death toll from the series of coordinated attacks was at 125, including at least six foreigners, the director-general of police’s office said. Fourteen police were among the dead. In all, some 327 people were wounded.

In a nationally televised address on Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the attackers were foreigners, but he did not say where he believed they were from.

“The well-planned and very orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic by choosing high-profile targets and indiscriminately killing innocent foreigners,” Singh said.

“It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the financial capital of the country,” he added.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Thursday that a team of British foreign office officials and metropolitan police had arrived in Mumbai. “The most important function is obviously a consular function — to identify all the British victims, to liaise with all of the victims — some of whom may still be trapped in the hotels — and also ensure on the police side, that all expertise is offered to the Indian authorities,” he said.

The identity of the attackers remained a mystery. CNN-IBN quoted police sources as saying they believed there were some 26 gunmen, most of them young.

State media Press Trust of India, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal, reported the gunmen had worked for months to prepare, even setting up “control rooms” in the two luxury hotels that were targeted.

Officially, the Indian authorities were saying no one had claimed responsibility, although the Deccan mujahideen took credit in e-mails sent to several Indian news outlets.

Deccan refers to the Deccan Plateau that makes up the majority of the southern part of the country. “Deccan” is an Anglicized form of “dakkhin,” which means south.

Mujahideen translates into “those engaged in the struggle for jihad.” While “jihad” in Islam can mean any endeavor that requires dedication, the term has taken on a militant tone in recent years.

Police say the attackers came by boats to the waterfront near the Gateway of India monument.

Nine suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks, and seven are fishermen, police said. Police also found a boat loaded with explosives near the Taj Mahal, also located on the waterfront.

The gunmen hijacked cars — including a police van — and split into at least three groups to carry out the attacks, police said.

One group headed toward the Cafe Leopold, a popular hangout for Western tourists, firing indiscriminately at passers-by on the street. They then opened fire and lobbed grenades at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a Victorian building.

As police rushed to the scene of the attacks, gunmen attacked the Cama Hospital.

Two other groups attacked the Oberoi and Taj Mahal, police said.

The Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country’s western coast after the attack, was questioning the crew of the MV Alpha, a ship they detained with the help of the Indian coast guard, British authorities said. The authorities said they believe the attacks originated from this ship, which they believe is from Karachi, Pakistan.

The British authorities also said three speedboats — carrying weapons and militants — traveled along the Indian coast from the ship to Mumbai and launched the attack.

However, Karachi police said have no evidence the attackers departed from their city, Waseem Ahmad, the police chief, said.

Earlier, the Indian coast guard and navy were also searching for a small boat in the Arabian Sea, officials said.

Interpol announced Thursday that it would send a delegation led by its secretary general to India to meet with senior law enforcement officials here.

“When such coordinated and planned terrorist attacks are carried out against international targets and when a country’s head of government states there are suspected ‘external linkages’, the police in the country concerned require international assistance,” said Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

India has suffered a number of attacks in recent years, including a string of bombs that ripped through packed Mumbai commuter trains and platforms during rush hour in July 2006. About 209 people were killed in that attack.

In July, a series of synchronized bomb blasts in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad left 49 dead and more than 100 wounded, police said.

Mumbai live coverage terrorist attack – Malaysiakini

http://edition.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream3

MUMBAI, India (CNN) — Fighting broke out early Friday between government soldiers in a helicopter and gunmen holed up inside a Jewish center where two or three gunmen were believed to be remaining.

Fresh explosions have been heard at the Taj Mahal hotel, where police are trying to free hostages.

Fresh explosions have been heard at the Taj Mahal hotel, where police are trying to free hostages.

 The helicopter dropped off seven or eight soldiers onto the roof of the Chabad house, and then moved away from the line of fire, CNN sister station CNN-IBN reported.

The operation followed after grenades had been tossed from inside the structure toward anyone approaching the building — three such explosions occurred in four hours.

But movement appeared imminent shortly before dawn, when several jeeploads of police, firetrucks and at least one ambulance pulled up to the five-story structure.

The fighting at Chabad house comes as Indian security forces appear to be gaining control of two Mumbai five-star hotels attacked by gunmen in a wave of violence that has lasted more than 24 hours and killed at least 125 people.

A gunman was killed around 1 a.m. in the Oberoi hotel, where commandos were going room-to-room, trying to flush out attackers and rescue people, J.K. Dutt, the director of India’s National Security Guard, told CNN-IBN, CNN’s sister network in India.

Dutt said he could not say how many gunmen remained in the Oberoi, where hostages have been trickling out of the building for hours.

Security forces used in-house telephones to ask guests holed up in their rooms to switch on lights and open curtains, so that they could provide cover, CNN correspondent Andrew Stevens reported.

A siege at the nearby Taj Mahal hotel was over, CNN-IBN reported, but one gunman remained holed up there early Friday morning, Dutt told IBN.

Police sources said at 2 a.m. Friday that they believed the gunman was wounded and getting tired.

Dutt said his teams had rescued most of the hostages inside the Taj, but an undetermined number of people remained inside.

One woman expressed frustration over the lack of information regarding her sister and niece, who have been trapped inside the Taj for nearly 30 hours.

“I have whatsoever no information as to what’s being done to rescue them,” said the woman, who did not give her name to CNN.

“There is somebody inside who is preventing the rescue,” she said. “They should take action and let us know what is happening.”

Deepak Datta told CNN that he waited in his room at the Taj, listening to gunfire, for almost 24 hours before commandos rescued him.

“There was a lot of explosions right before my rescue,” he said. “The explosions kept getting louder then they opened the door with a master key,”

Elsewhere in the city, a standoff continues at a Jewish center in the city, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said.

For hours, gunfire and grenades were tossed from inside at anyone approaching the building, with three such explosions occurring in four hours.

But movement appeared imminent shortly before dawn, when several jeeploads of police, firetrucks and at least one ambulance pulled up to the five-story structure.

It is unclear who was responsible for the series attacks, which hit several high-traffic landmarks in the city, including the hotels, a hospital, a train station and a popular tourist cafe.

But whoever planned the attacks spent months coordinating them, even setting up “control rooms” in the two hotels targeted, the Press Trust of India reported, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal.

“Enormous planning went into the incident. The terrorists were dropped by a mother ship and traveled in rubber boats which they docked (at Mumbai),” Sibal said.

The death toll from the series of coordinated attacks was at 125, by Friday morning, authorities said. Among the dead were at le

  • iReport.com: Images, reports ast six foreigners, three top law enforcement agents, including Hemant Karkare, the chief of the Mumbai police’s anti-terror squad, and 14 police officers.

Another 327 people were wounded in the attacks, including seven British, three American and two Australian citizens.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested the group behind the terror attacks was based outside the country.

“It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks, based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the financial capital of the country,” Singh said. 

At least nine gunmen were killed in fighting with police. IBN quoted police sources as saying they believed there were around 26 gunmen, most of them young.

Indian officials have told Canada that they believe six Canadians are being held hostage, according to a senior aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The French Foreign Ministry said 15 to 20 French nationals were trapped in the two hotels.

Authorities found 8 kilograms (17 pounds) of RDX, one of the most powerful kinds of military explosives, at a restaurant near the Taj, indicating that the attackers may have been planning more violence.

Gunmen also remained holed up in a building called Chabad House, where several Jewish families live. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the city’s envoy for the community, was being held inside with his wife, a member of the Hasidic Jewish movement said.

Two women and a child were seen escaping from the building, said Johny Joseph, chief secretary of Maharashtra state. CNN-IBN reporter Raksha Shetty said three people escaped — apparently a caretaker, a cook and a child.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported later that Sandra Samuel — a cook for the center who had barricaded herself in a room in the house — told them she grabbed a toddler whom she identified as Holtzberg’s son and fled the building, along with another person.

“I just grabbed the baby and ran,” Samuel told Haaretz.

Police said gunmen fired indiscriminately from the building. Stray bullets killed a couple in their home and a 16-year-old boy who stepped outside, police said.

A standoff at a fourth location — the Cama Hospital for women and infants — appeared to have been resolved by Thursday morning, CNN-IBN reported.

Authorities locked down Mumbai and asked residents to stay inside. The stock market in the city — India‘s financial hub — was closed, as were schools and colleges. The city is also home to Bollywood, the world’s most prolific film industry.

Police say the attackers came by boats to the waterfront near the Gateway of India monument.

The Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country’s western coast after the attacks, boarded a cargo vessel Thursday afternoon, officials said. They and the Indian coast guard were also searching for a small boat in the Arabian Sea.

International hot lines

Australia: Department of Foreign Affairs offers these numbers: In Australia: 1-800-002 214. Australians overseas, call 61 2 6261-3305.

India: JJ Hospital, 91 22 2373-5555; St. George Hospital (Dr. Ashok Shinde), 91 98 6905-0622; Police control room, 91 22 2262-5020, 91 22 2262-1855

UK: The British Ministry of Foreign Affairs is directing concerned UK nationals to call 44 (0)20 7008-0000

U.S.: The State Department has established a Consular Call Center: The number is 888-407-4747.

Canada:
For Canadians in India call 1-800-387-3124. In Canada call 613-996-8885.

Nine suspects were arrested in connection with the attacks, including seven fishermen. Police also found a boat loaded with explosives near the Taj’s waterfront location.

“Those men were wearing jackets and they carried big big bags,” one fisherman told CNN-IBN.

“We asked, ‘Where are you coming from?’ They said, ‘Go do your work,'” another witness said.

The gunmen then hijacked cars — including a police van — and broke up into at least three groups to carry out the attacks, police said.

One group headed toward the Cafe Leopold, a popular hangout for Western tourists, firing indiscriminately at passers-by on the street. They then opened fire and lobbed grenades at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a Victorian building.

As police rushed to the scene of the attacks, gunmen attacked the Cama Hospital. Two other groups attacked the Oberoi and Taj hotels.

Several Indian news outlets reported receiving e-mails from a group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen, claiming responsibility for the attacks. CNN was not able to verify the reports.

Reaction from the United Nations, United States and United Kingdom was swift as world leaders joined in condemning the attacks.

India has suffered a number of attacks in recent years, including a string of bombs that ripped through packed Mumbai commuter trains and platforms during rush hour in July 2006. About 209 people were killed in that attack.

Accounts of Mumbai attacks from media in India

Gunmen targeted several areas in the Indian city of Mumbai on Wednesday, taking scores of hostages, killing dozens and taking hostages in two luxury hotels frequented by Westerners: The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Hotel.

Armed men are seen near the site of one of the attacks in Mumbai.

Armed men are seen near the site of one of the attacks in Mumbai.

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Below is a running list of accounts from news agencies in the area.

The information that follows has not necessarily been confirmed by CNN:

1 a.m. ET (11:30 a.m. IT):

Fire has started in the Taj Hotel’s new wing, which is next to the wing where militants are still believed to be, Rediff.com reports. Firefighters are rescuing people from the new wing, according to Rediff.com.

Meanwhile, two people — an Indian maid and a foreign child — have left the Nariman House, where authorities believe suspects are hiding, according to Rediff.com.

The Nariman House is a residential building where several Jewish families live.

12:30 a.m. ET (11 a.m. IT): A member of parliament says he and other members were dining at a Taj Hotel restaurant Wednesday night when masked militants entered, according to CNN sister station CNN-IBN.

“They fired indiscriminately. I saw three people being shot. The terrorists left the room soon after that,” N.N. Krishnadas said.

Hotel staff rushed Krishnadas and others into another room, he said.

International hot lines

Australia: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has set up a hot line for Australians with concerns for family or friends in Mumbai: 1800 002 214
U.S.: The State Department has established a Consular Call Center: 888-407-4747.
UK: Foreign Affairs Ministry: 44 (0) 20 7008 0000

“We stayed there through the night. In the morning, commandos rescued us,” he said.

12:10 a.m. ET (10:40 a.m. IT): The number of policemen killed has risen to 16, according to Rediff.com.

CNN-IBN is streaming live coverage of the Mumbai attacks on its Web site.

11:30 p.m. ET (10 a.m. IT): A militant in the Oberoi Hotel has told a TV station that he is among seven people holding hostages there, according to the Times of India.

The militant told the TV station that the attackers want India to release all “mujahedins.”

“Only after that will we release the people,” the militant told the TV station, according to the Times of India.

11:10 p.m. ET (9:40 a.m. IT): Authorities say one arrestee is a member of the group Lashkar-e-Tayiba, according to Rediff.com.

11:05 p.m. ET (9:35 a.m. IT): Besides raiding the Taj hotel, security forces also have entered the Oberoi Hotel and the Cama Hospital for women and infants, CNN’s sister station CNN-IBN reported.

The standoff at Cama Hospital appears to have been resolved; it was not immediately known whether suspects at the hospital fled or were killed, CNN-IBN reported.

11 p.m. ET (9:30 a.m. IT): Police have said the death toll in the Mumbai attacks is at 101 — including six foreigners, the Times of India reports.

Gunfire is heard at the Nariman House in the Colaba area, and police have cordoned off the area amid reports that suspects are in the building, Rediff.com reports.

10:40 p.m. ET (9:10 a.m. IT): People are being evacuated from the Taj Hotel as security forces continue their battle against attackers there, Rediff.com reports. Rediff.com reports a journalist has been injured in the fighting.

10:05 p.m. ET (8:35 a.m. IT): NDTV.com (New Delhi Television Limited) reports the dead include at least 11 policemen, including the head of an anti-terror squad. The site continues to say at least 100 people were killed in attacks on 10 sites in Mumbai, while other outlets, including CNN-IBN, report lower numbers (87).

Multiple Indian news outlets have quoted witnesses as saying the attackers were looking for American and British nationals at the hotels.

NDTV.com quotes a witness as saying: “Gunmen wanted anyone with British or American passport.”

NDTV.com is streaming live video of its coverage.

9:35 p.m. ET (8:05 a.m. IT): Gunshots are fired as military and other security forces move into the Taj hotel, one of two hotels where people are being held hostage, Rediff.com reports. According to Rediff.com, police believe three or four hostage-takers are inside the hotel. Multiple Indian news outlets report at least 100 people are trapped and perhaps being held hostage in the Taj, where fire and smoke could be seen.

9:20 p.m. ET (7:50 a.m. IT): While multiple outlets have reported that a group called the Deccan Mujahideen have claimed responsibility for the attacks, Rediff.com reports that police and the Intelligence Bureau are not ruling out the involvement by the Indian Mujahideen, an offshoot of the Students Islamic Movement of India.

The Intelligence Bureau said authorities cracked down on the Indian Mujahideen in Mumbai, and that the IM responded by warning it was “just waiting for the right time to execute bloodshed,” Rediff.com reported.

9:10 p.m. ET (7:40 a.m. IT): NDTV.com reports at least 100 people were killed in the attacks and that hundreds of hostages still are being held at two hotels, including the Taj hotel. Other outlets report lower death tolls, including CNN-IBN, which reports 87 dead.

NDTV.com reports five suspects have been killed, three escaped, and nine have been arrested