Mumbai attacks - a "blow-by-blow" account

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Mumbai attacks - a "blow-by-blow" account

 Mumbai attacks - a "blow-by-blow" account
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The carnage in Mumbai began on Wednesday evening as the heavily-armed gunmen arrived on shore in dinghies, possibly launched from an outlying vessel.

At around 21.20 local time there were attacks at a number of tourist locations.

Armed men stormed the Taj Mahal hotel, hurling grenades and shooting at guests.

At the same time, the assault on the Oberoi Trident hotel began and hostages were taken.

The Cama and Albless Hospital was also attacked and two gunmen were killed.

Nariman House, which housed the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch centre, was beseiged.

Leopold’s Cafe, a popular meeting place for foreigners, was stormed and diners sprayed with bullets.

At the city’s Chattrapati Shivaji railway station two attackers opened fire causing mass panic. There were many casualties.

As Thursday dawned, the Indian army was engaged in gunbattles with militants at both hotels. Small groups of guests begin to escape the mayhem.

As gunfire continued, it was announced that Hemant Karkare, head of the anti-terrorism squad, was dead and a group called the “Deccan Mujahedeen” was claiming responsibility.

The army embarked on a room-by-room search at the Taj, but explosions were still being heard at both hotels.

Meanwhile the Indian navy boarded a cargo ship it believed was linked to the violence.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, addressed the nation, blaming attackers from outside the country and vowing they would not escape.

On Friday, commandos stormed Nariman House and discovered the bodies of five hostages inside the Jewish centre.

The Indian army finally reported that it was in control of the Trident hotel and hostages had been released.

Security operations continued at the Taj, as police reported many bodies had been found in the hotel.

On Saturday, more explosions were heard coming from the Taj Mahal Hotel as more fire broke out on the ground floor.

Then it is all over, with three gunmen shot in the final battle.

Indian security forces have warned that as searches of the hotels continue, the death toll is almost certain to rise.