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Thursday, November 27, 2008

They Came by Boat to Kill: A Timeline of What is Known about the Mumbai Attacks

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

MUMBAI, INDIA (ANS) -- Gunmen who arrived by boats launched attacks on at least seven locations in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday night, killing more than 120 people, authorities say.

CNN reported that Indian soldiers took position outside Chabad House, the scene of one the Mumbai attacks.

By Friday morning local time, authorities believed militants still were in two luxury hotels and a Jewish center in the city.

CNN said the following is what is known about the attacks:

Police said gunmen arrived by boats at the Mumbai waterfront near the Gateway of India monument on Wednesday night. The gunmen hijacked cars, including a police van, and split into at least three groups to carry out the attacks.

Authorities said one group headed toward the Cafe Leopold, a popular hangout for Western tourists, firing indiscriminately at passers-by on the street. The group then opened fire and lobbed grenades at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station.

CNN said that as police rushed to the scene of the attacks, gunmen attacked the Cama Hospital for women and infants. Several people were killed at the hospital, and a standoff there lasted until Thursday morning.

CNN reported that police said two other groups attacked the Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels, taking hostages there.

Gunmen also took hostages at the Chabad House, where several Jewish families live, police said. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the city's envoy for the community, was being held inside with his wife, a member of the Hasidic Jewish movement said. Gunmen and hostages still were believed to be in the house Friday morning.

CNN reported police said gunmen fired indiscriminately from the Chabad House. Stray bullets killed a couple in their home and a 16-year-old boy who stepped outside. Two women and a child escaped from the building Thursday, a government official said.

At the hotels, hostages or people who were trapped left at various times Thursday and Friday. Commandos entered both hotels, trying to flush out militants and rescue others.

CNN said that by Friday 12:30 a.m. local time, one gunman remained in the Taj hotel, and two others remained at the Oberoi hotel, the director-general of the National Security Guards said. At 1 a.m., one gunman was killed at the Oberoi hotel, the official said. He said he couldn't say for sure how many gunmen were still at the Oberoi.

An undetermined number of nonmilitants remained inside the hotels Friday morning, CNN reported NSG director-general J.K. Dutt said.

“There are some of them inside the rooms, and they are not prepared to open the doors,”he said. “Probably they are fearing that it might not be an innocent.”

CNN said fire fighters battled fires at both hotels. By early Friday, it appeared what had been a major fire at the Oberoi had been extinguished.

According to CNN, by Friday morning, 125 had been killed in the attacks, including at least six foreigners, authorities said. An Italian and a Briton were among the confirmed dead. Another 327 people were wounded, including seven Britons, three Americans and two Australians.

At least nine gunmen were killed in fighting with police by Friday morning. Also among the dead were 14 police officers and the chief of the Mumbai police anti-terror squad.

CNN's sister network in India, CNN-IBN, quoted police sources as saying there were about 26 gunmen.

CNN said authorities found 8 kilograms (17 pounds) of RDX, one of the most powerful kinds of military explosives, at a restaurant near the Taj, indicating that the attackers may have been planning more violence.

According to CNN, the Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country's western coast after the attack, was questioning the crew of the MV Alpha, a ship detained with the help of the Indian coast guard, British authorities said. The authorities said they believe the attackers' boats came from this ship, and that they believe the ship is from Karachi, Pakistan. However, Karachi police said they have no evidence the attackers departed from their city.

CNN said several Indian news outlets have been reporting that a group called the Deccan Mujahideen e-mailed them to claim responsibility. Intelligence officials said little is known about the group. U.S. officials and security analysts said the sophistication of the attacks may indicate a more-established group is responsible.

CNN said state media Press Trust of India, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal, reported the gunmen had worked for months to prepare, even setting up “control rooms” in the two luxury hotels that were targeted.

For a similar story go to www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/how-mumbai-terror-unfolded-they-came-by-boat-to-kill-14084540.html


Jeremy Reynalds is a freelance writer and the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "The Face of Homelessness." Additional details are available at http://www.HomelessBook.com. Reynalds' upcoming book is "We All Need a Little Help." It will be released on October 3 2008. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at jeremyreynalds@comcast.net. Tel: (505) 400-7145. Note: A higher resolution JPEG picture of Jeremy Reynalds is available on request from Dan Wooding at danjuma1@aol.com.

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