Terror in Mumbai

The BBC reports on terror attacks in Mumbai:

Gunmen have opened fire at a number of sites in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay), killing at least 78 people and injuring about 200 more.

Police said shooting was continuing and that the incidents were co-ordinated terrorist attacks. Gunmen had taken hostages at two hotels, they said.

At least seven sites have been targeted across India’s financial capital.

There has been a wave of bombings in Indian cities in recent months which has left scores of people dead.


A witness told local television that the gunmen were looking for people with British or US passports

The Guardian has a discussion of a possible Islamist group being responsible:

The most obvious suspect will be a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen, an offshoot of the banned SIMI (the Students Islamic Movement).

It claimed responsibility for the bombings in Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad and following the Delhi bombings it issued an explicit threat that Mumbai would be next.

In an email – its favoured method of communication – it accused the ciy’s anti-terrorism squad of harassing Muslims.

“You should know that your acts are not at all left unnoticed; rather we are closely keeping an eye on you and just waiting for the proper time to execute your bloodshed,” the email warned. “You are already on our hit-list and this time very very seriously.”

The terrorists appear to have killed Mumbai’s anti-terrorist chief.

There is also the possibility that it may be Maoist Naxalite insurgents, whose background was covered by the BBC World Service in 2006. However, the fact that US and UK citizens seem to have been targeted probably makes them less likely culprits.