Mumbai Under Attack

From The Big Picture:

Late Wednesday night, Mumbai, India found itself the target of a ferocious terrorist attack, and the situation remains unresolved even now, three days later. According to reports, upwards of 60 young men entered Mumbai in small inflatable boats on Wednesday night, carrying bags filled with weapons and ammunition, and spread out to nine locations to begin their attacks. Lobbing grenades and firing their weapons, they entered hotels, a railway station and several other buildings, killing scores and wounding even more. As of this moment, the identity of the attackers has yet to be definitively determined, though there are reports indicating some of the gunmen were Pakistani – at least nine of them have been killed, nine more arrested. As of this writing, there were a reported 151 people killed from 11 different countries – though nearly 100 were Indian. More than 300 injuries have also been reported – those numbers may yet rise as several hostage situations still exist in the city.

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death on Black Friday

From the NY Times:

The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.

Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. Someone taped up a crude poster: “Blitz Line Starts Here.”

By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.

Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.

Some workers who saw what was happening fought their way through the surge to get to Mr. Damour, but he had been fatally injured, the police said. Emergency workers tried to revive Mr. Damour, a temporary worker hired for the holiday season, at the scene, but he was pronounced dead an hour later at Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream.

How Mumbai attacks unfolded

From the BBC News:

2120 local time (1550 GMT): Gunfire starts at the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station when at least two gunmen storm the crowded terminal, firing indiscriminately. Many of the deaths and injuries occurred in this attack.

2120-2200: Gunmen raid the Cama and Albless Hospital, shooting indiscriminately. Two attackers later killed and two captured.

2120-2200: Gunmen seize control of the Nariman House business and residential complex. Police surround the complex, which houses the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach centre.

2120-2200: Gunmen storm the Cafe Leopold and open fire on diners, causing numerous causalities.

They were in no hurry. Cool and composed, they killed and killed

From The Guardian:

The gunmen, most of them apparently in their twenties, wearing T-shirts, black shirts and jeans, came ashore in black and yellow inflatable rubber dinghies. Armed with automatic weapons, and carrying rucksacks packed with hand grenades and explosives, they abandoned their landing-craft on the beach, from where they would have been able to make out the outlines of their targets, some of Mumbai’s most famous buildings.

It would appear that they had landed earlier, around 8pm, in a larger vessel at Sasoon dock and then used the dinghies to get closer to their targets in the heart of the city.

“Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off,” said one witness. “They were fair, chikna [well-off] and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared.”

Within two hours, the young gunmen were causing mayhem in the city that has always prided itself as being the hospitable gateway to India.