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Mumbai’s Taj Hotel in flames after terrorist attack
Special to the Fatima Network
Thursday: November 27
Terrorists have struck at least seven places in Mumbai, India, killing at least 125 people and wounding over 200 more.
Coordinated groups of terrorists gunned and blasted their way through tourist sites in the Indian Financial center at Mumbai. The attacks started late Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning.
The attacks swept through two luxury hotels favored by foreigners, the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberi. The terrorists threw grenades and fired automatic weapons, which sent guests scrambling for safety.
A series of explosions rocked the Taj Mahal Palace, setting part of the building on fire.
Guests were trapped inside the hotel for hours, and some guests were taken as hostage. Some of the hostages have since been freed.
The gunmen shouted that those who have British or American passports should identify themselves, and reportedly separated British and American tourists from the others. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said U.S. officials were not aware of any American casualties, but are still checking.
According to the Globe and Mail, Indian officials confirmed that Canadians were among the hostages held by the militants.
Anthony Rose, an Australian visiting Mumbai to produce a travel show, told CNN that he checked into the Taj hotel just a minute before attackers stormed into the lobby Wednesday night.
“They came in with all guns blazing,” Rose said. “It was just chaos.”
Indian police and commandos soon appeared on the scene to battle the attackers. At least three top Indian police officers — including the chief of the ant-terrorist squad — were killed in subsequent shootouts.
The terrorists struck a number of targets almost simultaneously, including the hotels, the Chhatrapati Railway terminal, Café Leopold and other locations.
Gunmen even hijacked a police van and fired at people as they sped through the streets. Manish Tripathi said, “We heard a car speed up behind us, it was a police van, but the men inside were firing at us.”
At the Chhatrapati railway station, commuters were mowed down while walking to catch late trains at home. Four young men carrying big guns and wearing black T-shirts and blue jeans rushed in, said eyewitness Nasim Inam. “They just fired randomly at people as they ran away. In seconds people fell to the ground.”
Iman, sobbing and shaking his head, said the attackers were 25-years-old at the most. “They were so young. They were young boys. I was standing behind them,” said Iman, “if they had turned around it would have been me.”
Other witnesses say the gunmen appeared to be about 20-years-old.
At all the sites, horrified witnesses recount the same terrifying scene, “There was blood all over.”
A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but analysts do not know whom this group is affiliated with.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested the attacks were launched by people from outside the country.
“The well-planned and very orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic by choosing high-profile targets and indiscriminately killing innocent foreigners,” Singh said in a televised address to the nation.
India has become a hot-spot for terrorist attacks in the recent past. The London Telegraph reports that nearly 700 people have died, and hundreds have been maimed in terrorist strikes across India over the past three years, but none of the cases have been solved and no convictions secured.
The Fatima Center condemns these and all terrorist attacks. Any such attack is contrary to the law of God and the natural moral law, as it makes direct war on civilians and on the innocent.
The Fatima Center also urges prayers for those killed, wounded, and for the families of the victims.
The escalating violence, wars, and terrorist episodes demonstrate the urgent need for the Pope, in union with the world’s bishops, to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to obtain true peace for the world.
This Consecration has yet to be properly accomplished, for there will be no recurring incidents of wars and homicidal attacks on innocent civilians during the period of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima.