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Bush warns Pakistan to fight terror or a face-off

Bush has said US will not be held to ransom by terror outfits

GET IT CLEAR: Bush has said US will not be held to ransom by terror outfits

With India reaching out to the world community in the wake of Mumbai attacks, the US, Germany and Britain are sending their ministers and functionaries to India to discuss the developing situation.

Washington too is keeping the pressure up.

US President Bush made a statement saying even governments sponsoring terrorism will be held responsible.

“We’ve made it clear to Pakistan that we must do whatever to protect American people. Governments sponsoring terror are as guilty as the terrorists and will be held to account,” warned America’s President who will soon be making way for president-elect Barack Obama to take over.

The US reiterated that countries should deny safe haven to terrorists.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice too came down hard on the terror outfits and their nefarious designs.

Rice had said that those who want to disrupt good relations between India and Pakistan were at root, and that these non-state actors clearly used Pakistani territory. Rice continued to tell the CBS radio in the interview that there is reason for Pakistan to take up responsibility to act.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Airports on high alert after hijack warning

Airports in small cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh and Guwahati are at maximum risk.

TENSION IN THE AIR: Airports in small cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh and Guwahati are at maximum risk.

Security has been tightened at all airports following an intelligence warning.

According to intelligence agencies, there is a possibility of an Indian airplane being hijacked small airports where security checks are less stringent.

Airports in small cities like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Nashik and Guwahati are at maximum risk.

Intelligence agencies have alerted small airports and air marshals are being sent to sensitive sectors.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security is carrying out checks across the country. Earlier, there were rumours of a bag being found at Mumbai airport but those were found to be false.

According to some media reports, Deccan Mujahidden, a little-known organisation that claimed responsibility for Mumbai attacks, has sent an e-mail threatening to attack three Indian airports.

Intelligence agencies believe that the Deccan Mujahideen is a front created by LeT for it’s Mumbai strikes.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

War on Mumbai Day 3: Sequence of events so far

30 hrs IST on Wednesday night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

WARZONE MUMBAI: At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

More than 36 hours on, the war on Mumbai is still in full flow. The situation has been developing minute by minute. Here’s making sense of what’s happened so far.

At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages. Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad reached the area and soon a gunbattle began, punctuated with explosions.

Within minutes of the first gun being fired, there was panic across Southern Bombay. Young, heavily armed terrorists were at various locations – from the CST Station to five star hotels to the very popular Leopold Cafe in Colaba. Eyewitness accounts being collated by intelligence agencies suggest that these terrorists made their way into the heart of city in boats.

At 02:00 hrs IST on Nov 27, 2008, a fire broke out in Taj hotel’s central dome. In the continuing gunbattle, three terrorists were killed by 05:00 hrs IST on Thursday. Some guests were evacuated, but the war was far from over.

Apparently having landed by boat at the nearby Gateway of India, the terrorists split up. They first opened fire at the popular Cafe Leopold before moving to the Taj and Oberoi hotels. A group of terrorists entered the CST Station, fired and lobbed grenades into the crowded. Ten people died in the ensuing mayhem.

The terrorists then moved to the adjacent municipal headquarters and then to Cama hospital, where again they opened fire and lobbed grenades.

The terrorists managed to kill ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who was supervising operations personally. Along with him were Additional Commissioner of Police, Ashok Kamte and senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar, a crack encounter specialist of the Mumbai Police, both of whom too died in the attack on Cama hospital.

The terrorists then hijacked a police vehicle and drove towards Metro junction, where again they fire into the crowds present there. This group of terrorists were later gunned down by a police team.

While police hunted for the terrorists, the Army, National Security Guard and Naval commandos tried to defuse the hostage situation in the Taj and Oberoi hotels – where some foreigners were being held – and Nariman House through the night.

The Armed Forces have had partial success at the Taj, but the stand off at the Oberoi hotel and Nariman House continues.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mumbai Terror Attacks; 6 foreigners among 101 dead

At least 101 people have been killed in attacks by gunmen in Mumbai, police said on Nov 27, 2008.

Army personnel take position at the Gateway of India that stands in front of Taj Hotel in Mumbai.

“At least six foreigners have been killed and the death figure has gone up to 101 now,” Ramesh Tayde, a senior police officer told from Mumbai’s control room.

In one of the most violent terror attacks on Indian soil, Mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy machine guns, including AK-47s, and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets — the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard — killing at least 101 and sending hundreds of injured to hospital, according to latest reports.

The attacks have taken a tragic toll on the city’s top police brass: The high-profile chief of the anti-terror squad Hemant Karkare was killed; Mumbai’s additional commissioner of police (east) Ashok Kamte was gunned down outside the Metro; and celebrated encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar was also killed.

The attacks appeared to be aimed at getting international attention as the terrorists took upto 40 British nationals and other foreigners hostage. The chairman of Hindustan Unilever Harish Manwani and CEO of the company Nitin Paranjpe were among the guests trapped at the Oberoi. All the internal board members of the multinational giant were reported to be holed up in the Oberoi hotel.

Two terrorists were reported holed up inside the Oberoi Hotel. Fresh firing has been reported at Oberoi and Army has entered the hotel to flush out the terrorists.

An unknown outfit, Deccan Mujahideen, has sent an email to news organizations claiming that it carried out the Mumbai attacks.

The Army and Navy in Mumbai were put on alert. 65 Army commandos and 200 NSG commandos were being rushed to Mumbai, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.

The Navy commandos too have been asked to assist the police. Special secretary M L Kumawat is in constant touch with the state police.

Some media reports attributed the attack to Lashkar-e-Taiba. There were also unconfirmed reports that some of the terrorists came in by sea. A boat laden with explosives was recovered later at night off the Gateway of India.

Well after midnight, sources said two of the terrorists were shot and wounded at Girgaum in south Mumbai. The two were driving in a commandeered silver-coloured Skoda car. Earlier, these men had sprayed bullets from a police Bolero, outside the Metro Adlabs multiplex.

The attacks occurred at the busiest places. Besides hotels and hospitals, terrorists struck at railway stations, Crawford Market, Wadi Bunder and on the Western Express Highway near the airport. Several of these places are within a one-km radius of the commissioner of police’s office.

“This is definitely a terrorist strike. Seven places have been attacked with automatic weapons and grenades. Terrorists are still holed up in three locations Taj and Oberoi hotels and GT Hospital. Encounters are on at all three places,” said Maharashtra DGP A N Roy.

St George’s Hospital and G T Hospital were said to have received 75 bodies and more than 250 injured people, additional municipal commissioner R A Rajeev said. Bombay Hospital got two bodies and 30 injured people were admitted there; Cooper Hospital, Vile Parle, got three dismembered bodies.

Three of the deaths occurred inside the Taj and one G T Hospital attendant died in a shootout inside the hospital. There were reports of people cowering under tables and chairs at both the Taj as well as G T Hospital.

Metro Junction resident Manoj Goel said: “My brother, Manish, died in the firing at Colaba’s Hamaal Galli.” Cops fired back at the men — probably from one of the Lashkar groups, dressed in black and with backpacks and SRPF, Crime Branch, ATS and teams of military commandos were summoned to the spot. Train services at CST were suspended and all roads leading to and from south Mumbai were blockaded.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh cut short his Kerala visit and was returning to Mumbai. He described the situation in Mumbai as “very serious”.

Deshmukh promised “stringent action” against the assailants but the mood across Mumbai was not so optimistic.

There were reports of firing around several landmark buildings in the Colaba-Nariman Point area, including the Taj hotel, Oberoi and other tourist attractions and pubs like Leopold’s. The top floor of Oberoi was said to be on fire amid reports of blasts in the area and blood-smeared bodies were being brought out of the Taj lobby.

Terrorists were said to be holed up at the Taj as well as G T Hospital and cops scampered to cordon off these places. A white flag was seen fluttering from an Oberoi Hotel window around 11.20 pm, where a blast was said to have occurred.

The blast on the Western Express Highway — near Centaur Hotel outside the airport — occurred in a taxi, deputy commissioner of police Nissar Tamboli said.

The firing and bombing started close to the Gateway of India. The gunbattle then moved on towards CST and raged on for over an hour from 10 pm, sending commuters running out of the station.

The assailants also fired into the crowd at CST and people on the trains and then ran out of the station themselves and into neighbouring buildings, including Cama Hospital, after being challenged by cops.

SRPF personnel then entered the iconic BMC building — just opposite CST — to take aim at the assailants, BMC commissioner Jairaj Phatak said. “We fear some of the assailants are still inside the station and we want to catch them if they come out,” a police official said.

Vikhroli police station senior inspector Habib Ansari was on his way to work from his Colaba home when he saw two armed men, with sophisticated weaponry, trying to run into bylanes near the Gateway of India.”I rushed back to Colaba and all policemen, including GRP and RPF personnel, were called up,” he added.

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment