military commandos are attempting to neutralize remaining terrorists at
three locations in Mumbai and free remaining hostages and hotel guests
there. About 120 people have been killed and more than 300 injured in
shootings, explosions and fires since the attacks began late Wednesday.
Authorities say at least seven suspected terrorists have been killed
and several more arrested. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in our
South Asia bureau in New Delhi with the latest.
A top Indian Army official says the final push to free hostages and guests at three locations in Mumbai will not be rushed.
Army vice chief Major General Noble Thamburaj spoke to reporters outside the Taj Palace Hotel.
have specially told the commandos taking part not to be under any
pressure from the media or the citizens because at this stage, when
were are at the final stages of operations before we can wrap it up, we
don't want to be in a hurry [and] suffer any casualties," said
The general says at least one
terrorist who is possibly still holding two or more hostages remains
inside the Taj. Meanwhile, commandos continue to free guests at the
Trident Oberoi. At that luxury hotel an unknown number of foreign
hostages are still believed held by heavily armed insurgents. Some
guests were freed from their rooms by commandos after more than 36
After dawn Friday, two helicopters dropped commandos
onto the roof of a Jewish center at Nariman House. Diplomats say
several foreign hostages may still be held there.
attackers also hit railway stations, hospitals and a restaurant, the
most deadly dramas have taken place at the two luxury hotels and the
expatriate Jewish community center.
Gunfire, explosions and fires erupted repeatedly since Wednesday evening at the hotels.
science minister, Kapil Sibal, speaking on television, said it is
obvious that the coordinated attacks were well planned and people were
not targeted at random.
"They set up control rooms in the Taj
and the Trident Oberoi [hotels]. And they were actually managing the
operations right from there," said Sibal. "So, obviously… it's been
planned over months."
A previously unknown group called Deccan
Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Some officials
and politicians contend the attackers, who they say were well-trained
and well-armed, came from Pakistan by sea.
Residents of Mumbai
are well acquainted with terror mayhem. Several hundred people died in
serial bombings in 1993 stemming from Hindu-Muslim violence. In July
2006, attacks on suburban commuter trains killed 187 people and injured
800. But this latest assault is being called the most brazen in Indian
history, striking landmarks and targeting not only Indians of all
classes but foreign visitors, as well.