November 28, 2008

Source: IBNLIve

At least 12 dead at Taj Hotel: Navy commandos

November 28, 2008

navycommandos248A chief of a Indian Navy commando unit flushing out terrorists at Mumbai’s Taj Hotel said on Friday that he saw 12 to 15 bodies in one room.

“We found 12-15 bodies,” the commander, whose face was disguised in a black scarf and sunglasses, told a news conference. The commandos found money, ammunition and an identity card from Mauritius thought to have belonged to the terrorists.

“We recovered $1200, AK series rifles, credit cards and Mauritian national identity card from Taj hotel,” the commando chief said.

We found a bag which contained dry fruits, large amount of ammunition, foreign money (dollars), seven fully filled magazines of AK rifles with extra rounds, grenades of different make, most likely made in China, seven credit cards of ICICI, HDFC, CITI Bank, HSBC etc,” he revealed.

Addressing the media at the Western Naval Headquarters, INS Angre, the Marine Commandos (Marcos) said that there were two teams of commandos, one of which was sent to the Taj while other engaged the terrorists at the Oberoi.


Mumbai terror attack some : unanswered questions

November 28, 2008

  1. How many terrorists were there? Did they number 20 as Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh told a press conference on Thursday? Or did they number many more? If two or three terrorists attacked the CST, how many terrorists were present at the Taj and Trident? Did the CST terrorists drop a grenade/explosive device at Dockyard Road on the way to the station? Or was someone else responsible for that act of terror which claimed three lives?

  1. The terrorists are said to have set up control rooms at the Taj and Trident hotels, a Cabinet minister told PTI on Thursday. When were these bookings made? A detailed investigation into the bookings made at both hotels in the months, weeks and days before the attacks may reveal the names of suspicious guests who registered there.

  1. Military sources tell that there was no way the terrorists could have carried so much ammunition with them when they assaulted the two hotels with their guns blazing. They believe the ammunition may have been stored earlier in rooms at both the hotels, perhaps on the higher floors.

  1. If some of the terrorists had registered at the hotels earlier, could these men/women have left along with the guests who were released? Did the police record the identities and addresses of the guests who were released from both hotels?

  1. Indian Hotels Chairman Ratan Tata indicated on Thursday that the terrorists had intimate knowledge of the Taj, its service corridors, its layout. Does this mean that they had a mole inside the Taj? Or more worrying, did a couple of them work there at some point of time? Did they have drawings of the layout of the two hotels?

  1. If the terrorists were Pakistani, how did they have such an intimate knowledge of the terrain? The two or three cowards who attacked the CST on Wednesday night made their way from the CST through a road on the left side of The Times of India building towards the Cama and Albess hospital/Azad Maidan police station, a route that is known only to true-blood Mumbaikars. Were they locals? Or did they conduct extensive reconnisance of the likely routes of escape?

  1. These same two or three men, who are said to have commandeered ATS Chief Hemant Karkare’s police Qualis after shooting him, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and Inspector Vijay Salaskar, revealed similar familiarity with the road outside the Esplanade Court, making an easy U-turn towards the Metro cinema junction rather than head on the road towards the CST. How did they know this if they were Pakistanis?

  1. How did those men, whose images have appeared all over the world, get to the CST from Colaba where they are said to have landed by boat? Did they take a taxi? Or did they have local transportation? Did they come by a suburban train, which could explain the firing on one of the suburban train platforms? Who left the grenade on the Gitanjali Express, which killed a Bengali mother?

  1. The terrorists are said to have done extensive reconnisance of the city. If they are Pakistanis, how did they get earlier entry to the city unnoticed? Did they come in by boat? Or did they use other routes to escape notice?

  1. Such an operation could not have been conducted without extensive training and preparation, possibly on models of the Taj and Trident or Chabad House/Nariman House. Could this have been achieved at the rudimentary training camps hosted by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in Pakistan occupied Kashmir? Or was it a more systematised operation conducted by a State agency in a hostile country?

  1. How did they know Chabad House/Nariman House, which even long-time residents of Colaba — the area in South Mumbai where the Taj, the Leopold Cafe and Chabad/Nariman House are located — are unfamiliar with? The choice of this target indicates precision thinking — it is doubtful if the Lashkar strategists are capable of such deep strategy — and again points the needle of suspicion at a government intelligence agency in a nation inimical to India or renegades within such a bureau

Source: Rediff

Hemant Karkare, Maharashta Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad chief killed Pay your tribute

November 28, 2008

14806720_hemant_salskarHemant Karkare, Maharashta Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad chief, was among the 11 police officials who were killed while fighting terrorists in Mumbai on Thursday.

Karkare, 54, was killed in a shootout with terrorists at the Taj Intercontinental Hotel where terrorists have taken at least 15 people hostage.

Additional commissioner Ashok Kamte and ‘encounter specialist’ Vijay Saluskar were killed in a shootout with terrorists at Metro Cinema.

Karkare, a 1982 batch IPS officer, had returned to his state cadre after a seven-year tenure with the Research and Analysis Wing, Indian external intelligence agency, in Austria. His death is likely to affect the probe into the Malegaon blast.

IPS oficer Sadanand Date was killed in a separate gun battle. There were seven other police officials among the at least 78 killed in the coordinated terror attacks late on Wednesday night.

Pay your tribute to ATS Chief Hemat Karkare

Source: IBN lIVE

Images Mumbai terrror attack

November 28, 2008

WARZONE MUMBAI : 125 dead including 14 policemen, 6 foreigners; 327 injured

November 28, 2008

Source: NDTV

Attack on Nariman House: Event sequence

November 28, 2008

Two-three terrorists are still holed up inside the Nariman House building which is under their siege. Following is an account of how and what happened there:

At 9:20 pm on Wednesday, two men came on a scooter at Nariman house, near the Bootleggers Pub in Colaba and hurled grenade at a nearby petrol pump.

The grenade missed the petrol reservoir but destroyed the facade of station.After hurling the grenade, the terrorists ran into Nariman House building behind petrol pump, which is a Jewish residential building. The terrorists murdered two people there.

A few terrorists then remained holed up silently for hours. They surfaced again in the morning and hold people hostage and the hostage drama still continues.

At 9:24 pm, another attack occurred at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus where two gunmen stormed in the station. They hurled hand grenades and fired at the people there. many were injured after the firing. The terrorists ran out in a short while.

On Thursday, militants started firing again and held the people residing there as hostages. Army commandos retaliated. Encounter went on for the entire day, no one could be rescued.

Seven hostages rescued at night. Lull after 3 am

On Friday, gunshots heard early in morning, exchange took place for about 5 minutes.

Helicopters circling Nariman House areas, doing surveillance

Sporadic gunfire being heard.

People living around the place asked not to come outside. Area evacuated.

Commandos airdropped on Nariman House for final operation.

Source: NDTV

Terror strikes Oberoi-Trident: Sequence of events

November 28, 2008

oberoi-tridentMumbai’s posh five star luxury hotels Oberoi-Trident is one of the places that has been under the attack of the terrorists for more than thirty-five hours. Here are the set of events in the Oberoi-Trident hotel since Wednesday night.

On November 27, at around 9:35 pm, Oberoi-Trident hotel came under attack when terrorists stormed the hotel.

Till mid night, unknown number of people still trapped inside the hotel. Sources initially confirmed gunmen inside but were not sure about the numbers. The operation to flush out terrorists continued till November 28 morning.

The GOC said there are about 12 terrorists holed up in three places — about two-three persons at Nariman House, five to six at the Taj hotel and the rest at Oberoi-Trident hotel.

Elite commandoes of the topline security forces from army, navy, NSG and Rapid Action Force got involved in the raging encounter with unspecified number of heavily-armed terrorists in Oberoi-Trident hotel. Throughout the day, grenade explosions set various floors.

Two hotel staff and one security guard were confirmed dead.

Army was rushed in five columns from adjoining areas to beef up its strength, ahead of a final effort to rid Oberoi-Trident in from the grip of extremely trained terrorists. About 200 people have been trapped and terrorists exploded grenades that set the roof ablaze amid exchange of gunfire.

Two units of MARCOS withdrawn from the Taj and Oberoi-Trident hotels after the National Security Guard (NSG) arrived in Mumbai. They were re-deployed to participate in the final assault following after NSG’s request.

Two marine commandos and 14 Army troops were injured in the operation at both Taj and Oberoi Oberoi-Trident hotels.

NSG commandos launched an operation to flush out terrorists and soon fire was seen emanating from the fourth floor of Oberoi-Trident hotel. The fire engulfed several rooms and reportedly broke out in the hotel.

Security agencies captured an LeT activist Abu Ismail alive. They find out that he hails from Faridkot in Pakistan.

On November 28, during midnight, Director General of National Security Guard (NSG) J K Dutt said two terrorists are holed up in the 8th floor of the Oberoi hotel while in the Trident section the combing operation has been completed. Dutt said we do not have any report of any terrorist being holed up in Trident.

A minor explosion took place at the Trident hotel where about 100 people were believed to be trapped inside. The security forces began evacuating Trident hotel.


Terror at Taj: How it happened

November 28, 2008

102Army, Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and National Security Guard (NSG) commandos are involved in a fierce encounter with a group of terrorists inside the Taj. It all began on Wednesday night:

11 pm: Firing around Colaba, terrorists arrive inside Taj hotel, Gateway of India.

12 midnight: Firing of hand grenades inside Taj Hotel, police gheraos the hotel, ready to shoot on order, area cordoned off.

1 am: Massive blast inside the central dome of the Taj Palace hotel, flames around the structure, smoke cloud lift up to the sky, two rounds of hand grenades.

2 am: One round of hand grenade thrown outside the window from Taj’s heritage wing to the park infront of the Gateway; police ready to fire and enter in big numbers inside the hotel.

2:30 am: Army deployed, two trucks full arrive and enter hotel lobby and outside. Media asked to move back by 100 metres. Fire spreads across top floor of Taj heritage wing.

2:45 am: Some people exit from kitchen fire exit and are taken from the new wing of Taj to the back exit to leave, guided by police.

3:00 am: Fire engines arrive, police sirens go off. Shooting and gunfiring heard inside lobby and heritage building. Fire spreads quickly to the left dome of the hotel, engulfs entire column in flames.

3:30 am: People scream from inside the heritage building as fire spreads. People seen at windows howling for help. Fire engines start rescue, try putting out fire on top floor with water sprays.

3:45 am: Fire engine ladders pull out people from windows while simultaneously trying to get the fire doused. People are slowly brought down as firemen run with search torches, break windows to pull people out.

4:00 am: Men, women climb down, howling as they are rescued. Most of them say they were told to stay in their rooms. Some of them had seen the terrorists shooting around. Most of them come down shocked by smoke and firing. Ambulances take them to nearby hospitals.

4:30 am: Another bout of big firing inside hotel. Action shifts from left heritage site where the fire continues to spread quickly to middle of the hotel as terrorists run from the centre dome to the new tower.

5 am: Solid rounds of firing, police step up heat with commandos and bomb squads arriving. Public told to move away. Fire engines continue rescue as people are brought down. Fire flames right again, both central and left dome in fire again.

5:30 am: Fire appears under control, but terrorists holed up in new tower in the exclusive club of Taj called Chambers. 100-150 locked in there, most influential corporates, businessman, policy makers at the venue. People kept hostage.

6:00 am: Police, navy, army forces take control and say they are ready for encounter. Firing across the building. Windows are broken. Personnel gherao Gateway and top floors of Taj with sniper guns.

7:00 am: Policemen spread across the floor on the ground of the Gateway of India. Another round of firing.

8:00 am: People are brought out to the lobby, some people told to duck down behind scaffolding as a new round of firing takes place between terrorists and the police outside the main porch.

8:30 am: Another 50 people are brought out of the Taj club called Chambers and taken slowly by the police in Best buses, to evacuate them.

9 am: More rounds of firing, many more people stuck inside.

10 am: Police almost finishes encounter, until one more round of firing happens.

11 am: Many people are taken on stretchers outside in critical care vans, some alive, some injured and some dead.

6:00 pm: Three fresh explosions have been reported at the Taj hotel in Mumbai on Thursday and rescue operations are on.

7:00 pm: Fire flared up at hotel Taj Mahal Palace for the third time, with huge flames leaping up from the roof of the heritage old wing of the building.

Source: NDTV

Mumbai terrorist attack this is how it started- 2nd day

November 28, 2008

08:20 AM: Heavy gunfire can be heard from Nariman House. Ambulances have beeen positioned closer to the building. Fire brigade personnel are present on the scene too.

08:11 AM: Helicopters make Nariman House look like a war zone. Routes have been cleared for ambulances.

08:10 AM: Five commandos have landed in choppers atop Nariman house, and opened fire. Two to three terrorists are believed to be holed up in the building.

Sources say that a man can be seen on the seventh floor of the Oberoi wing of Hotel Trident. He can be seen talking on his mobile phone and dropping something from the balcony. Army men, who have surrounded the hotel, have moved in.

One NSG commando has been seriously injured in Taj Hotel, informed Mumbai Police Commissioner Hassan Gafoor.

07:48 AM: Another explosion has reportedly taken place at Nariman House.

The area near Hotel Trident is bustling with activity. Four trucks with over 50 NSG commandos have left the hotel complex.

Speakers are being mounted near Air India building , and the names of the victims killed in Hotel Trident would be announced soon. Relatives of both hostages and victims have started gathering near Hotel Trident.

05:10 AM: Civilians are still trapped inside Hotel Taj, according to the latest reports. However, the number of civilians is not yet known.

Things have quietened down at the Hotel Taj, Hotel Trident and Nariman House. Sources say that the offensive by security personnel has been halted for the time being and will be resumed in the morning.

03:15 AM: Two explosions have taken place at Nariman House. Three terrorists are suspected to be hiding inside the building.

The power supply to Nariman House has been cut off.

02:04 AM: Six to eight men of the Anti-Terrorist Squad, wearing bullet-proof vests, have entered Hotel Trident from the side of the Air India building. Personnel from the Army, NSG and RAF have already entered the hotel.

Only one terrorist is still holed up at the Taj Hotel, claim NSG sources.

12:52 AM: Fresh firing has erupted at Taj Mahal Hotel ,where the terrorists and the security personnel exchanged three rounds of gunfire in the last 15 minutes.

All the buildings near Nariman House are being evacuated. The residents of nearby buildings are being evacuated by the police and RAF personnel.

12:11 AM: Security personnel and terrorists have reportedly started exchanging gunfire at the Nariman House. Seven hostages have been rescued from the building.

Firing has resumed at Taj Mahal Hotel, according to reports.

11: 37 PM: Residents staying in buildings near the Nariman House have been asked to evacuate. Some members of the local Shiv Sena unit have also reached the spot.

10:55 PM: NSG personnel have taken positions outside Hotel Trident in Nariman Point, on the road between NCPA and the hotel.

An army truck with over 20 commandos has stationed itself near Hotel Trident.

Low-intensity gunshots can also be heard from inside the hotel.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rushed to Mumbai and is visiting the injured victims at JJ Hospital.

10:24 PM: The death toll in the Mumbai terror attacks has reportedly crossed 125.

Another explosion has taken place in the first floor of the old building of the Taj Hotel and several rounds of gunfire have been heard.

Columns of Army personnel are marching into Hotel Trident.

Military personnel have taken positions around the hotel

09:42 PM: Firing has started again at Trident Hotel, after a lull of 30 minutes.

A senior official from the Israeli Consulate has arrived at the Nariman House, where two Israeli families are being held hostage. However, he refuses to divulge much information about the hostage situation.

The authorities say that the situation at Nariman House will be tackled only after the hostage crises in Hotel Trident and Taj Hotel come under control.

09:10 PM: Five more foreigners have been evacuated from Hotel Trident.

The operation at Hotel Taj is reportedly over. All terrorists at Taj Hotel have been killed by the security personnel. The situation is under control

At Nariman House, commandos have started entering the building as the offensive against the terrorists escalates.

08:30 PM: Vicky Nanjappa reports from the Taj Hotel that massive explosions are taking place inside the hotel.

A major fire has broken out at the Trident Hotel. The 13th and 14th floors of the hotel are on fire.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has left for Mumbai, in the wake of the terror attack.

The ongoing operations against terrorists in three places were in their final stages and would be over soon, says Maharashtra Director General of Police A N Roy.

Major General R K Hooda, General Officer Commanding, Maharashtra area, said that the Army and other security agencies had completed the first round of room-to-room combing at the Taj Mahal Hotel. But he said the operation was not yet over and there may still be terrorists holed up inside the hotel.

A huge convoy of army trucks has reached Nariman House. A BEST van can also be seen in the vicinity, and it might be there to cut off the power supply to the building. Two Israeli families have been reportedly held hostage in Nariman House.

08:00 PM: The Taj Hotel’s General Manager’s wife and three children have been reportedly killed in the attack.

The locals are distributing biscuits to the security personnel deployed at the Nariman House. An ambulance, from Saifee Hospital, is distributing water.

The chief of the Special Action Group has arrived.

07:49 PM: This road in the heart of Mumbai’s tourist district looks worse than a scene from Kashmir.  The range of forces here is incredible. The deployed personnel are from the NSG, RAF and Black Cats, apart from the city’s police.

The city hadn’t witnessed such a tight security blanket even during the infamous Mumbai riots.

Major General Hooda has reached Nariman point.

06:07 PM: 70 more people have been evacuated from Trident.

05:57 PM: Railway Additional DGP K P Raghuvanshi has been given temporary charge of ATS following Hemant Karkare’s killing in Mumbai terror attacks, says Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil.

05:45 PM: Lashkar-e-Tayiba has denied involvement in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Death toll in Mumbai terror attacks 101; 288 injured, six of them critically, says Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

05:31 PM: Commandos are in NCPA apartments across the road from Trident hotel, and firing at the terrorists, police officers said.

05: 26 PM: Gunshots have been heard from inside Oberoi hotel where terrorists are holding around 35 people hostage.

05:08 PM: IAF keeps seven transport aircraft and one VVIP aircraft on standby in Delhi for airlifting troops and leaders at short notice.

05:05 PM: Grenade sound could be heard from Nariman House building. The residents of Prem Bhavan, next door, have moved out. Nariman House area wears a deserted look.

04:55 PM: About 18 to 20 rounds of gunfire has been reported from Trident Hotel.

04:45 PM: Lot more commandos have arrived outside Nariman House. A team of commandos is scaling the building. Helicopters overhead are providing cover.

04:25 PM: Loud explosion has been heard outside Taj Hotel.

03:54 PM: Third grenade blast has been reported from the Trident Hotel (Oberoi).

03:15 PM: Two grenade blasts have been heard from Trident hotel.

02:54 PM: Grenade blast has been reported from Nariman House in south Mumbai, where six terrorists are holed up. One terrorist had been gunned down earlier.

02:33 PM: Navy helicopters are chasing a Vietnamese registered ship, MV Alpha, which is believed to have dropped terrorists near Bombay. Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta is closely monitoring the situation.

02:10 PM: Our correspondent Krishnakumar K reports that the first 4 floors of the six-storeyed Taj Hotel have been sanitised. Forty bodies have been recovered so far. NSG sources add that four fidayeen (suicide bombers) have been killed in the final assault.

01:50 PM: Director General of Police A N Roy says all people trapped inside Taj Hotel have been rescued and the hostage situation is over. “No negotiations with the terrorists. Either we will kill them or nab them alive,” says Roy. Meanwhile, an National Security Guard spokesman says 200 more NSG commandos were being rushed to Mumbai.

01:13 PM: Trident Hotel (formerly Oberoi), has said that it is under the control of police and security forces, and they are monitoring the situation in wake of the terrorist strike.

01:23 PM: Handgrenades lobbed from Oberoi Hotel in south Mumbai where terrorists are holed up.

12:42 PM: Police say one terrorist holed up inside Nariman House has been killed. Six more terrorists are suspected to be hiding inside the building.

12:14 PM: At least four terrorists are holed up in the Taj Hotel where 40 to 50 guests were still trapped, says Major R K Hooda, General Officer Commanding of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. Two bodies have been brought out of the Taj Hotel and taken away in an ambulance.

11:25 AM: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil has said that there can be 10 to 12 terrorists involved in the terror attack inside Taj Hotel. Five of them have been killed and one of them arrested, he told media persons outside the hotel as security forces prepared to launch an assault to end the terror.

11:09 AM: Latest reports say that the Navy and Army have taken control at Oberoi. Meanwhile, a child of foreign nationality and an Indian maid have been seen coming out of Nariman House in South Mumbai. Reports also say that US intelligence officials are among the foreigners killed at Taj Hotel.

10:57 AM: Fire brigade personnel have started rescuing people from Taj Hotel. Top French Nuclear physicist has also been rescued from the hotel.

10:40 AM: Smoke has been seen billowing from the new building of the Taj Hotel — which stands next to the old building where terrorists are holed up. While NSG operation was on in the old building, fire brigade personnel were trying to douse fire in the new wing.

10:30 AM: The number of policemen killed has gone up to 16. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the nation after 7 PM after the Cabinet meeting. The Maharashtra state Cabinet will meet at 2 PM.

09:30 AM: Terrorist out in the open! A terrorist holed up inside Nariman House jumps to the adjacent building. Meanwhile, an emergency Cabinet meeting has been called at 1100 hours.

09:27 AM: IB has arrested a Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist of Pakistani origin from Mumbai. The e-mail sent after terror attacks has been traced to Russia. Authorities say the mail was sent by Lashkar operatives. They also believe that the Lashkar terrorists came directly from Karachi to Mumbai.

09:30 AM: Firing has been heard near Nariman House in Colaba. Police have cordoned off the area amid reports that terrorists are holed up in the building.

09:09 AM: Curfew has been clamped in Colaba after firing intensified in the Taj hotel. Police are using smoke cannisters to disable terrorists’ vision. Meanwhile, Hostages are being evacuated from the Taj hotel even as gunbattle rages. A journalist has been injured in the firing. All international flights from Mumbai have been cancelled.

08:55 AM: Agencies have reported that terrorists are holed up inside the Cama Hospital. Commandoes have started firing at terrorists.

08:05 AM: Fresh firing erupted early on Thursday in Taj hotel as commandos moved in to flush out terrorists holding some foreigners hostage.

Sharp shooters of army, NSG and other security forces moved into Mumbai’s landmark hotel. Police believe that the number of holed out terrorists could be three or four.

Another luxury hotel Trident (formerly Oberoi) was under siege with some terrorists holding some foreigners hostage.

07:50 AM: More grim news is coming in from Taj Hotel, where several staff members have been feared killed in the terrorist attack.

Over 100 guests are still stuck inside the hotel, where two terrorists are reportedly holed up.

At Nariman House in Colaba, onlookers informed that the police exchanged fire about an hour ago.

The place looked like a riot-hit site, swarming with police officials and military trucks. Most people have been holed up here since an explosion shook the area at 10.30 pm.

The explosion occurred when the terrorists lobbed hand grenades at the local petrol pump. The blast was followed by a gunfight between police forces and the terrorists.

Source: Rediff