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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


20 killed, 348 injured as gunmen target rail terminus, luxury hotels; 40 taken hostage
Terror strikes yet again: A man injured in a terror attack being carried to hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday, when gunmen opened fire at seven places.
MUMBAI: The city witnessed a major terror strike on Wednesday with explosions and firing reported from several places. Reports said 20 people were killed and 348 injured. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll at 60.
Maharashtra Director-General of Police A.N. Roy confirmed that there were seven attacks, three of them encounters.
A.K. Sharma, Railway Police Commissioner, said two or three persons, carrying AK 47 rifles and grenades entered the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus with AK 47 rifles at 8.35 p.m. and opened fire indiscriminately and the panic-struck people rushed out. He said 10 people were feared dead and 30 injured. “The situation is still not resolved. However, there has been no firing for the last 45 minutes,” Mr. Sharma said.
Eyewitnesses, who claim to have seen at least one person dead, said two gunmen fired several shots and then rushed out of the station towards the Special Branch Office.
Rakesh, who had come with his wife and child to board a long distance train, said he heard shots and saw many people with blood stains on them. He rushed out with his family and took refuge in a building opposite the station.
The entire area has been cordoned off and no vehicles were allowed near the station. Commandos and special police teams were trying to get the situation under control. Random shots were still heard from the station at the time of our going to press.
The mangled remains of a taxi after an explosion on the western express highway near the domestic airport.
Sunil Babbar, a policeman of the MRA station close to the CST station, was returning home when he was summoned back. He tried to enter the station but heard two explosions and immediately rushed out to get police reinforcements.
Many of the injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals. Several blasts were reported across the city from places in South Mumbai and suburbs such as Vile Parle.
Two low-intensity explosions and firing were reported outside The Trident Hotel. Forty people were taken hostage inside the hotel, even as occupants and staff were being evacuated. At 11.15 p.m., the firing had not stopped and smoke was billowing from the hotel lobby. A constable on the spot said a third blast took place in the hotel lobby. He said commandos had gone inside. A police officer said two persons were injured. They were taken to hospital.
Firing was also reported outside Leopold Café at Colaba. Windscreens of cars were shattered and bloodstains seen all over.
Sheikh Pasah, an eyewitness, said: “I was on the other side of the road, going to have dinner when I saw people firing. Then I saw a girl drop on the road. They fired from outside and then went inside and opened fire. They were carrying long rifles, [probably] AK 47.” Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor said the police operation was still on.
Three persons, employees of the Taj Hotel in South Mumbai, were shot dead and two others died in a bomb blast in a taxi on Dockyard Road

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