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Page last updated at 00:08 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008
Officials quit over India attacks



A series of attacks in several locations across Mumbai have killed more than 100 people and gunmen are still believed to be holding hostages at one of the hotels.

Mumbai residents describe how they have been caught up in the violence over the last 15 hours.



British businessman Mark Abell spent two days and nights barricaded in his room at the Oberoi Trident Hotel, before being rescued by Indian security forces. His room was located very near to those where hostages were being held.

We were too close for comfort and throughout the night the whole thing was punctuated by a series of explosions. Towards the end of the night it started to quieten down.

Mark Abell's story in full

I was communicating on my blackberry with other people who were in a similar position and we slowly started to get a picture that we would be evacuated.

There was a knock on the door, I was told it was security and they said my name. It took me five minutes to dismantle the barrier that I'd erected in front of the door.

When I opened the door there was, I would say, probably 12 heavily armed soldiers, some police and a number of the hotel lobby staff.

They took me and my baggage to the lift, and took me down to the lobby. The lobby was carnage. I mean, there was just blood and guts everywhere. It was very upsetting.

I'd had dinner in the Kandahar restaurant and I've now just found out that's one of the places it started and unfortunately the waitress who served us was one of the first to get shot.

People I'd seen only minutes before going up to my room are now dead.


Ever since the crisis began, Bobby Singha has been stuck in his tattoo parlour close to the Nariman complex, which houses one of the targets, the Jewish outreach centre, Chabad House.

I'm near the Nariman building and commandos have just started firing [1210GMT]. I'm still at work as we were unable to leave last night.

Right now a lot of crowds are moving away because of the army shooting. I can see hundreds of army and police.

It was lucky the gas didn't blow up otherwise the whole locality would have been hit badly
The building is totally cordoned off and people have been told to stay at some distance. We are peeping and seeing what is happening from the corner of the street.

We saw when the gas station was blown up. It started off with shooting. Nobody thought it was a terror attack. They just thought somebody had a gun. So people started chasing people. It was confusing, there was a lot of commotion.

We came out to see what was happening. But half-an-hour later there was a big blast. I could see a flash and then a big fire and things were flying around.

Suddenly everybody started running away. It was pretty scary. When the bomb blast happened, people came to their senses. It was really big.

Now, the petrol station has a lot of blown-up and burnt scooters and cars. It was lucky the gas didn't blow up otherwise the whole locality would have been hit badly. People here are totally shaken.


A man shows the wounds of another man injured in a gun battle at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji station was one of the sites to be attacked
Sanvar Oberoi was near the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station when the attacks began and said he heard more blasts on his way home. Some of his friends have been caught up in the violence.

I feel as if it is never-ending. It is almost as if the violence is following us.

The father of one of my friends is in hospital and his mother is still missing. His parents had gone for dinner in the Taj Mahal restaurant when the attack happened and his father was injured. But his mother has been missing since last night. We hope that she is in the Taj and safe but as of now she is still unaccounted for. They had been dining with my friend's teacher - but unfortunately she was killed.

Another friend was at Cafe Leopold, near the Taj, to celebrate something. He actually saw the gunmen shoot people. He saw them shoot people in the head. He is not in a good state now.

On our road there are still a lot of police and barricades. I live near the chief minister's house but last night I heard two loud blasts in the neighbourhood.

I checked with my neighbours and they also heard the blasts. Some people say they were hoaxes. We don't know how to interpret them. But we did hear them.

About an hour before that though I was at the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station when I heard two loud distinct bomb blasts. Everybody panicked and ran along the pavement and road in fear. The police managed it well but it was terrifying.

The situation is still horrible. It has been hours of chaos. People are scared. Nobody goes out of their houses. Streets are deserted. More yet may happen in other places.


Apnavi Thacker is currently in a building opposite Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel, which gunmen earlier attacked and entered. She describes what she can see from the window.

People on the balcony of the Taj Towers
Apnavi Thacker took this picture of people on the balcony of the Taj Towers
Now [1050 GMT] it's pin-drop silence. We can see how it all unfolds from where we are.

The army has completely cleared the area of civilians and cordoned off the whole road.

But I've just seen some people on the higher floors of the Taj Tower, on the balcony. I don't know if they were hostile or not.

They were out on the balcony for quite a while speaking on telephones. They looked Indian, local. They could have been part of the army team.

Earlier I saw people leaving the Taj and running out. I saw a lady and a man first and then others followed them running out of the hotel with their luggage.

We have been asked to move away from the windows because the gunmen are not in the Taj Palace any more but are in the Tower, we have been told. That means they are very close to us and could potentially reach us if they shot at us.

The sharpshooters are ready - they are on ground level.


Gaurang Patkar was close to the Leopold Cafe when the shooting began. He described how the evening unfolded.

Yesterday evening we were going for dinner close to Cafe Leopold. I saw people running about and screaming. It was in chaos.

At the time we weren't sure what it was because we thought it was a gang fight. We could hear the gunshots but we must have missed the main thing by one or two minutes.

We went into this hotel restaurant and ordered dinner. We didn't know what was going on. We put on the television and found out what was happening.

Later, the hotels turned off the lights and closed the gates. Luckily we knew somebody who lived in the building just next the hotel and after they shut down the hotel we went there and stayed there till the morning.

It's close to the Taj and we could hear blasts and the building was shaking through the night. We knew it was quite powerful. The news was a bit delayed - whatever we watched was about 3-4minutes after it happened. We would hear things and then we would hear about it on the news.


Nicole Griffin is a British tourist who was saved from the Taj Mahal Palace hotel by Indian special forces. She described the moment commandos came to her rescue.

We had been following, through the internet, some of the reported stories and we'd heard that there were people coming into the rooms to try to rescue or evacuate guests, room by room.

We heard a loud bang on the door, looked through the keyhole and saw uniforms and guns. There were quite a few different commandos, special forces, officers, there to come in and take us out.

So they entered, looked through our passports and scouted around to see if there were any terrorists or attackers and then we were promptly told where to go - by the central stairway.

We were asked to wait with other guests while they checked other floors and checked other rooms and then we all congregated into one space where they could protect us.


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