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Mumbai hotel siege ends; attack toll reaches 195

 Mumbai hotel siege ends; attack toll reaches 195
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The first pictures have emerged from inside the battle-scarred Taj Mahal hotel, now that police in Mumbai say the siege there is over.

It marks the end of three days of terror at landmarks across India’s financial capital. At least 195 people have died. Nearly 300 have been injured.

The ground floor of the hotel has been gutted, the wood-panelled walls blackened and cracked by explosions and fire. Wine glasses and soup bowls were scattered on the floor, a charred gilt chandelier broken in pieces on a carpet and shattered glass strewn throughout the Taj’s boutique shops.

Gunmen set parts of the building ablaze as they played cat and mouse with scores of India’s best-trained commandos. The elite troops believe they have now killed the last remaining militants. But the hotel has more than 560 rooms and all were being systematically checked.

An army general said the gunmen seemed to be “very,very familiar” with the layout of the hotel.
Indian media says several militants checked into the Taj days or weeks ago and that one may have worked as a chef there.

India has blamed the co-ordinated series of attacks on “elements” linked to Pakistan. Local authorities in the Mumbai region say they have no evidence of British citizens being involved.

At least 22 foreigners died but most of those killed were Indians. Mumbai is mourning the head of its anti-terrorist force.

With one suspect now in police hands, media reports say the group wanted to go down in history for an Indian 9/11.