Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish center, killing at least 101 people and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on India's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants. Dozens of people were still trapped or held captive Thursday.
Police and gunmen were exchanging occasional gunfire at two luxury hotels and dozens of people were believed held hostage or trapped inside the besieged buildings. Pradeep Indulkar, a senior official at the Maharashtra state Home Ministry said 101 people were killed and 314 injured.
Among the dead were at least one Australian, Japanese and British national he said. Officials said eight militants had also been killed in the coordinated attacks on at least 10 sites that began around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Officials at Bombay Hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a Japanese man had died there and nine Europeans had been admitted, three of them in critical condition with gunshots. All had come from the Taj Mahal, the officials said.
The attackers specifically targeted Britons and Americans at the hotels and restaurant, witnesses said.
Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that a gunman ushered 30 to 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and, speaking in Hindi or Urdu, ordered everyone to put up their hands. "They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything — and thank God they didn't," he said. Chamberlain said he managed to slip away as the patrons were forced to walk up stairs, but he thought much of the group was being held hostage.
Since May a militant group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen has taken credit for a string of blasts that killed more than 130 people. The most recent was in September, when explosions struck a park and crowded shopping areas in the capital, New Delhi, killing 21 people and wounding about 100.
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