- Title: INDIA: Indian commandos fight militants as battle rages on in Mumbai
- Date: 28th November 2008
- Summary: MUMBAI, INDIA (NOVEMBER 27, 2008) (REUTERS) OBEROI HOTEL MAN STANDING AT WINDOW OF OBEROI HOTEL
- Embargoed: 13th December 2008 09:55
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVA6UKHHPJ30U37EM8V230DR2SM4
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Indian commandos fight room to room battles to save people trapped inside two luxury hotels after coordinated attacks by gunmen across Mumbai that the prime minister blames on a militant group outside the country.
Indian commandos fought room to room battles to save people trapped inside two luxury hotels on Thursday (November 27) after coordinated attacks by gunmen across Mumbai that the prime minister blamed on a militant group outside the country.
Police said 119 people were killed and 315 wounded when gunmen -- at least some of whom arrived by sea -- fanned out across the commercial capital to attack sites popular with tourists and businessmen.
With the drama still unfolding, the death toll could rise.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed militant groups based in India's neighbours, usually meaning Pakistan, raising fears of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.
Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, visiting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of the areas which was attacked, said there had been intelligence failure on the part of the state administration.
"The government has accepted it is a (intelligence failure) I believe that such an operation where so many terrorists are involved. It is not that some bombs kept at some locations and they are timed and in 15 minutes. Just like it happened in trains or in 1993. This is a lot of people who are involved and a lot of preparations must have gone into it may be of months and despite that the administration could not sense it. So intelligence failure is a standard word now and the government itself has used it,"
Advani told reporters.
Advani said there was a need for stringent laws to deal with such attacks.
"We need a good law and zero tolerance to deal with terrorism and this attitude need to be adopted by the administration and also by society," he added.
The attacks were another blow for the Congress party-led government ahead of a general election due by early 2009, with the party already under fire for failing to prevent a string of bomb attacks on Indian cities.
Manmohan Singh blamed militant groups based in India's neighbours -- usually meaning Pakistan -- for the attacks that killed 109 people and wounded 313, raising fears of renewed tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.
Helicopters buzzed overhead and crowds cheered as the commandos, their faces blackened, moved into the Trident-Oberoi, where 20 to 30 people are thought to have been taken hostage and more than 100 others were trapped in their rooms.
Flames billowed from an upper floor.
Earlier, explosions rattled the nearby Taj Hotel, a 105-year-old city landmark on the waterfront, as the troops flushed out the last of the militants there. Fire and smoke plumed from an open window.
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