The number of injured is up to a gut-wrenching 900, and the Deccan Mujahideen (which Bill connects to Lashkar-e-Taiba) has reportedly taken responsibility for the attacks, sending e-mails to media outlets.
The attacks appeared to be aimed at getting international attention as the terrorists took up to 40 British nationals and other foreigners hostage. The chairman of Hindustan Unilever Harish Manwani and CEO of the company Nitin Paranjpe were among the guests trapped at the Oberoi. All the internal board members of the multinational giant were reported to be holed up in the Oberoi hotel.
Two terrorists were reported holed up inside the Oberoi Hotel. Fresh firing has been reported at Oberoi and Army has entered the hotel to flush out the terrorists.
At least some of the terrorists have been shot or arrested:
Well after midnight, sources said two of the terrorists were shot and wounded at Girgaum in south Mumbai. The two were driving in a commandeered silver-coloured Skoda car. Earlier, these men had sprayed bullets from a police Bolero, outside the Metro Adlabs multiplex.
Early reports attributed the attacks to Lashkar-e-Taiba, members of whom were arrested in the 2006 bombings.
"President-Elect Obama strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and his thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India," Obama spokesman Brooke Anderson said. "These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism. The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. We stand with the people of India, whose democracy will prove far more resilient than the hateful ideology that led to these attacks."
Bush hasn't released an official statement, "but White House spokesman Tony Fratto made clear the Bush Administration's reaction.
'We condemn these attacks and the loss of innocent life," Fratto said, adding that "we continue to seek more information.'"
The outgoing and ingoing presidents' teams are said to be in close contact about national security issues during the transition period, during which the hand-off could make the country more vulnerable to attack.
A person briefed on the matter, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the intelligence-gathering work, said the threat may also be directed at the passenger rail lines running through New York, such as Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road, which are particularly busy with Thanksgiving holiday travelers.
A U.S. counterterror official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to do so publicly, said senior government officials have been briefed because the FBI very recently received credible information about possible attacks over the holiday season, and authorities are particularly concerned about this long holiday weekend.