November 26, 2008

life in general: terrorists attack locations in south bombay

(important updates to this post made below, before the updates whatever i have written i am not changing it but they were from very early reports and not comprehensive)

(thursday's update:
new post here)

As I write this (11.50 pm of Wednesday 26 Nov '08) from my home in Kandivli, in suburban north-west Bombay, I am tracking web-based news (no TV at my home) of of terrorists having attacked a few locations in south Bombay (or town area as we Bombayites call it). Hotels Taj and Trident (earlier called Hilton/Oberoi), Leopold Cafe, VT/CST railway station, Colaba market are some of the places where gunmen are being reported to have opened fire randomly and also executed a few bomb blasts (not of severe intensity though).

Some detailed newsreports are here and here.

I spoke with a friend who stays near Strand road in Colaba and she tell
s me that they heard a loud explosion that seemed to come from the Colaba market side. This is the only bit of news that I have that the above-linked newsreports have not covered yet.

The image to the left is taken from here. It depicts an injured person being taken out from the lobby entrance of Taj Hotel near Gateway of India.

Update 1 (0035 hrs, Thu, 27 Nov):

Below see a quick snapshot of Wikimapia of the south Bombay area where the terrorist attacks have taken place. I have marked out four spots in white arrow marks -- VT/CST station, Taj Hotel (near Gateway of India), Cafe Leopold in Colaba, and Hotel Trident/Oberoi/Hilton at Nariman Point. Click on it to see it enlarged and clearer.

Update 2 (0121 hrs, 27 Nov):
Sad. Latest news reports are bringing out the horrors of the attacks. About 80 dead and over 200 injured is being reported
The five-star hotels have been under tremendous security in the last few months. I remember going through rigorous check myself at the Taj Hotel near Gateway of India when I had gone to attend a seminar about 7 weeks back. Except for the VT/CST railway station and perhaps 1/2 other spots, all the rest spots picked by the terrorists indicate an intention to target foreigners because hotels Taj and Trident/Oberoi and Cafe Leopold are all places where foreigners can outnumber Indians.
Update 3 (0200 hrs, 27 Nov):
My heart goes to the near and dear ones of those who have died in these ugly attacks and to those who have got seriously injured. Few questions come to my mind, in the case of the 2 hotels. If the gunmen have killed people inside, that is in the hotel lobby, then how come they were able to take guns and perhaps also grenades inside in the first place? The stringent security checks should have prevented that. Or, is it that the gunmen started firing from outside, overpowered or killed some security guards and forcibly entered the hotels' lobbies? Answers will come in next 1-2 days in the media, hopefully.
Update 4 (0226 hrs, 27 Nov):
Jeez! Its getting uglier. Now, a hotel in Juhu attacked; abotu two anti-terrorist force squad members killed, fire in old building-wing of Taj Hotel . Click here. This seems to be a very good site so far.
Update 5 (0302 hrs, 27 Nov):
Some photos are over here.
Update 6 (0356 hrs, 27 Nov):
Am signing off for now with this updated news report on The Times of India website. I have no TV at home & so caught all news only on the internet. I will pray that Bombayites and other Indians do not indulge in callous, ugly reactions to the tragic events of the last few hours. The minorities in Bombay ought not to suffer from any violent ugly reaction from extremist Hindu groups. I pray.

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