Terrorists have attacked two hotels in South India. They were looking for people with US and British passports, apparently some kind of violent ploy to strike fear through India due to her recent associations with the West. Pray for India. And pray for those from the US and the UK who travel to India.
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From the International Hearld Tribune:
Indian commandos rescued hostages Thursday and continued to mount standoffs against heavily armed militants who a day earlier had swept into Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, in a shocking series of coordinated and bloody attacks.
The gunmen, firing automatic weapons and throwing hand grenades, attacked at least two luxury hotels, the city’s largest train station, a Jewish center, a movie theater and even a hospital.
The Mumbai police said Thursday afternoon that the attacks had killed at least 101 people and wounded at least 314.
Even by the standards of terrorism in India, which has suffered a rising number of attacks this year, the assaults were particularly brazen in scale, coordination and execution. The attackers moved against their targets after arriving at the Nariman Point district on boats.
It was not clear on Thursday evening how many militants were involved in the attacks, which began around 9:30 Wednesday night. Nor was it known how many hostages were still being held.
Indian officials said the police had killed six attackers and captured nine.
A group unknown to global terrorism experts claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to Indian media outlets. Analysts believed the group, calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen, had no apparent link to Al Qaeda.
“It’s even unclear whether it’s a real group or not,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism scholar and professor at Georgetown University in Washington. He added that the style of the attacks, particularly since they were staged without suicide bombers, was “not exactly Al Qaeda’s modus operandi.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a televised address that the attackers probably had “external linkages” – the first official indication that the authorities were likely to blame outsiders.
The attackers struck at least seven targets in Mumbai, including a number of high-profile sites that offered little in the way of security.