...At least 80 people were killed, 250 injured and up to 100 taken hostage by suspected Islamic terrorists in a series of attacks in Bombay targeting British and American citizens.
Militants attacked a crowded railway station, two luxury hotels and a backpacker bar with automatic rifles, bombs and grenades. All the sites were in the south of India’s financial capital.
The hostages were seized at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where a group of British MEPs were staying, and the Oberoi nearby. Paramilitary forces had gathered around both buildings. A police inspector said: “The terrorists are throwing grenades at us from the rooftop of the Taj and trying to stop us from moving in.”
A taxi was bombed near the international airport. At Leopold Café, a bar popular with tourists and backpackers, witnesses described pools of blood and bullet-scarred walls. Three senior policemen, including the chief of Bombay’s anti-terror squad, were killed in stand-offs with gunmen.
A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen e-mailed Indian news organisations claiming responsibility.
The co-ordinated attacks, on soft Western targets, showed all the signs of an al-Qaeda strategy. Intelligence “chatter” in recent weeks indicated that al-Qaeda was plotting an attack. The first incidents were reported at about 10pm local time. Early accounts were confused as mobile phone networks jammed and the city’s police control room was flooded with calls from terrified members of the public. At first, the violence was thought to be part of a gang turf war. Then it became clear that it was a terror attack.
Five hours after the attack began, the Taj Majal Palace was set on fire, gutting the upper floors, where the hostages were thought to be held....
(h/t american papist)