Terrorists attacked the city of Mumbai, India Wednesday night (November 26). Analysts and experts are saying that it looks like a concerted effort of sophisticated coordination. Terrorists have attacked at least 7 (India Broadcast News (IBN) reported 9 targets at 3:15 EST) separate targets, including two hotels, a hospital, a restaurant, and a railway station. A report at 3 p.m. by CNN and IBN stated that at least 55 people may have been killed (26 have been confirmed by police officials) and as many as 200 injured. Government sources reported at least 78 people dead at 3:20 p.m. All the different reports are indicative of the confusion engendered by the attacks on the usually peaceful city.
At least two of the terrorists have been killed. Four policemen have been killed as well, including a police commissioner who was killed in a firefight. Foreign nationals have been taken hostage at at least two locations. Explosions and gunfire are still being reported. There was a report of an explosion inside the Taj Hotel, where most of the patrons are reportedly British and Americans. Grenades are being tossed from the top of the one of the hotels. The Oberoi and Taj hotels have both been surrounded by local authorities.
An additional gunfight was reported at the Cama Hospital.
One attacker seems to be holed up at the railway station.
It is still unclear who the terrorists are and what might be their ultimate intent. One group sent an e-mail claiming responsibility but it was uncertain as to whether the claim was valid. Some witnesses are saying that some of the terrorists are extra-nationals. However, that has not been confirmed, either. One analyst on CNN said that the terrorists were making a statement that would have both national and international repercussions. Most of the targets are considered high-profile. There are many government offices and luxury hotels in the area that seems to have been targeted most. The targets are also known to be places frequented by foreigners.
Government troops have been ordered to Mumbai to help stabilize the situation.
CNN was quick to report that the terrorist attacks in Mumbai have not been found to have any connection with the terrorist threat issued against New York. The Indian government reported that no militant group or terrorist organization has claimed responsibility thus far.
A report on IBN from a member of Parliament inside the Taj revealed that, although he was safe, the terrorists were still throwing grenades, because he had heard an explosion a few minutes before. Another report suggests that the terrorists at the Taj were checking passports for British and American nationals.
An explosion was reported inside the Oberoi Hotel at 4 p.m. EST.
There are also reports of hijacked automobiles, including some police vehicles, being driven around Mumbai, where passengers are firing on people in the street. One media crew was fired upon as well. Footage shows a police van with someone firing into the people along the street.
Police and government officials are gearing up for a long night. Besides the explosive blasts and the attacks on the high-profile targets, indiscriminate gunfire and firefights throughout the city indicate that the situation may not be controlled for some time.
Mumbai, which is known by many Westerners as Bombay, is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world, encompassing over 19 million people. It is the entertainment, financial, and commercial capital of India.