November 28, 2008


Battles rage for Mumbai hostages: Investigators in the Indian city of Mumbai are beginning to piece together how gunmen carried out Wednesday's series of deadly attacks. (BBC, 11/27/08)

All the signs, officials say, point to a well-planned action carried out by a highly trained, determined group.

The men appeared to have surveyed their targets in advance and were well-versed in the use of weapons and explosives, a Indian commando said.

Their intention, he said, was "to create and spread terror".

Investigators believe that a large group of men arrived in Mumbai from the sea around 2100 local time.

They believe that a larger ship - possibly a hijacked vessel, possibly an accomplice
ship - brought them close to the shore before they switched to smaller dinghies.
Once ashore, they split into two-, three- and four-man groups to attack pre-selected targets.

Several of the attackers were caught on CCTV. Footage showed mainly young men, carrying automatic weapons and large rucksacks.

Officials said the rucksacks contained grenades, extra ammunition, plastic explosives and food supplies.

Reports suggest the attacks happened within minutes of each other.

One of the first targets was the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, where at least two men fired automatic weapons and threw grenades at crowds of people waiting in the main hall.

A second group opened fire at Café Leopold, a popular restaurant, while a third seized Nariman House, a business complex housing a Jewish outreach centre, taking several people hostage.

A fourth group - or, some reports say, the same one that attacked the station nearby - struck the Cama and Albless hospital for women and children. A number of drive-by shootings were also reported across the city.

By around 2200 local time gun fire was being reported at two of the city's luxury hotels - the Oberoi-Trident and the Taj Mahal Palace.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2008 11:09 AM
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