This sort of attack, requiring little more than light weapons, relatively small amounts of explosives, and pretty basic coordination, is what worries me most as we head into the holidays. They’re relatively easy to stage and quite effective:
Several people have been killed in a series of coordinated attacks targeting sites popular with tourists and business people, according to police and CNN’s sister network in India.
Ongoing battles between police and gunmen were reported at two five-star hotels by CNN-IBN.
Gunmen armed with automatic weapons and grenades attacked targets including the hotels, a cafe, and a train station, police say.
Police confirmed two deaths but IBN said at least 18 people were killed in the coordinated strikes, according to IBN.
The attacks included five shootouts and two grenade attacks, said a police officer who answered Mumbai’s police control room line.
IBN reported an ongoing battle at the five-star Oberoi Hotel where gunmen have reportedly taken hostages after searching out people with U.S. or British passports.
Up to 80 may have been killed and 200 injured but these numbers are in flux:
There have been multiple attacks in India’s city of Mumbai and breaking reports have just revealed that up to 80people may be dead.
It appears that new attacks are occurring and that Americans are being targeted. It’s difficult to tell in the chaos. More as the story develops.
Follow the global conversation about these attacks on Twitter.
Indian bloggers are pulling together at Mumbai Help.
Now following updates from Mumbai by Twitter user Kaushal.
More on the terrorists effort to identify foreigners in their attacks:
Shootings were reported in the lobby of the five-star Taj Mahal Palace hotel in the Colaba area of south Bombay and at the nearby Leopolds bar, a popular destination with western backpackers. Witnesses described pools of blood and bullet scarred walls at both locations.
A witness at the hotel told a local television station: “They wanted anyone with British or American passports.
“They wanted foreigners.”
It’s still difficult to tell if this round of attacks is coming to an end or if it will continue:
The attacks began about 2230 local time (1700 GMT) and more than two hours later witnesses were reporting new explosions and gunfire.
The targets include businesses frequented by international visitors.
CNN correspondent Andrew Stevens said: “We are getting reports of ongoing incidents at the railway station and the Oberoi Hotel.
“We do not know if this has reached its peak or if more attacks to come.”
A local journalist told CNN he had seen evidence of an attack at the city’s domestic airport, which is on the outskirts of the Mumbai.
IBN reported explosions at a gas station and inside a taxi on a dockside road.
Obama has employed over 500 staffers to assist in his transition operations — working from a nondescript office building in downtown Washington and from locations in his hometown of Chicago.
His transition team has received a budget of $12 million — $5.2 million of which was allocated by Congress, and the rest from private donations of under $5,000.
As president-elect, Obama is also given the same highly classified intelligence briefings that President Bush receives on a daily basis. And Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden get full Secret Service protection, which Obama also received during the Democratic primaries and general election campaign.
But the “Office of the President-Elect,” while critical in building the future government, has no official power — which Obama himself acknowledged during his victory speech in Chicago on Election Night.
“It is an office — it’s just a quasi-government office for planning the takeover of the government,” said Stephen J. Wayne, a professor at Georgetown University’s department of government.
“Obama has no formal power as far as the existing government is concerned, but he has a lot of informal influence, which President Bush has encouraged,” he added.
Wayne compared the function of the “Office of the President-Elect” to spring training in baseball. “It doesn’t count in the standings, but it does contribute to a team’s ability to do well from day one,” he said.
I guess there aren’t enough video games and trinkets in Iceland’s shops to keep everyone in a consumer coma. Perhaps they just can’t afford the coma. Then again, they might just be paying attention:
Despite the loans, Iceland faces a sharp economic contraction and surging unemployment while many Icelanders also risk losing their homes and life savings.
A young man climbed onto the balcony of the Althing building, where the president appears upon inauguration and on Iceland’s national day, and hung a banner reading: “Iceland for Sale – $2.100.000.000″, the amount of the loan Iceland is getting from the IMF.
The rally lasted less than one hour and as daylight began to wane, demonstrators drifted away into the nearby coffee shops where the price of a cup of coffee has shot up to 300 kronas in the last few weeks, up by about one third from before the crisis struck, as the currency has tumbled.
Opposition parties tabled a no-confidence motion in the government on Friday over its handling of the crisis, but the motion carries little chance of toppling the ruling coalition which has a solid parliamentary majority.
“I’ve just had enough of this whole thing,” said Gudrun Jonsdottir, a 36-year-old office worker.
“I don’t trust the government, I don’t trust the banks, I don’t trust the political parties, and I don’t trust the IMF. We had a good country here and they’ve ruined it.”
Join the club Gudun.