Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 March 2015

We were caught in Mumbai massacre

Flames come from a room of the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed people. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Flames come from a room of the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed people. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Guests and hotel staff are being rescued by a firefighter at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
People take cover at the sound of gunfire outside The Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed people. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
A still taken from Indian TV of an armed man at the Chhatrapati Sivaji railway station in Mumbai
A gunman walks at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008.
Armed personnel keep watch outside the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, India, late Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed 104 people. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
An armed personnel looks on as he keeps watch outside the Taj Palace hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandos raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, held by well-trained heavily armed gunmen, in a coordinated series of attacks.(AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Smoke and flames rising from one of the wings of the Taj Palace Hotel, are also reflected in car window, in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Indian commandoes killed the last three gunman at a landmark hotel late Thursday and were sweeping another luxury hotel in search of hostages and trapped people after suspected Muslim militants stormed targets across Mumbai, leaving at least 119 people dead. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Indian army soldiers take positions near the Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed people. Backdrop is of the Air India building. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Armed security personnel wait outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandoes raided two luxury hotels to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed people. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Indian army soldiers take up positions near the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Black-clad Indian commandos raided two luxury hotels in the city, to try to free hostages Thursday, and explosions and gunshots shook India's financial capital a day after suspected Muslim militants killed people. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Armed gunmen are seen moving at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Mumbai Mirror, Sebastian D'souza) ** INDIA OUT CREDIT MANDATORY **
National Security Guard commandoes take position near an apartment where suspected gunmen have held a family hostage in Colaba, Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
National Security Guard commandoes secure an area near an apartment where suspected gunmen have held a family hostage in Colaba, Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Local people gather to watch action as policemen and commandoes surround an apartment where suspected gunmen have held a family hostage in Colaba, Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Indian Army personnel take positions outside the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Indian Army personnel move in to take positions outside the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
A terrorist attack victim's body is shifted to an ambulance to be taken for postmortem outside the St. Georges Hospital in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Rescue and security personnel carry a body from the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
A local man ducks for cover as he crosses an alleyway exposed to fire from alleged gunmen holding a family hostage in Colaba, Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
A grieving relative of a terrorist attack victim, facing camera, is consoled by other outside the St. Georges Hospital in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 101 people, taking Westerners hostage and leaving parts of the city under siege Thursday, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Sharda Janardhan Chitikar, left, is consoled by a relative as she grieves the death of her two children in a terrorist attack as she waits for their bodies outside St. Georges Hospital in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters, killing people, and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on the nation's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Sharda Janardhan Chitikar, center, is consoled by relatives as she grieves the death of her two children in a terrorist attack as she waits for their bodies outside St. Georges Hospital in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters, killing people, and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on the nation's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Supporters of Socialist Party burn an effigy of a terrorist involved in Mumbai shooting, in Allahabad, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, a crowded train station and a Jewish group's headquarters, killing people, and holding Westerners hostage in coordinated attacks on the nation's commercial center that were blamed on Muslim militants. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
An Indian security person stands outside a hotel where the cricket teams of England and India are staying in Bhubaneswar, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. The remainder of England's limited-overs cricket tour of India has been scrapped and a Champions League Twenty20 tournament scheduled for next week is in doubt following terror attacks in Mumbai.(AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
** EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT ** Luggage of passengers lie scattered on a blood splattered platform at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Police say several people have been wounded in a series of attacks by terrorist gunmen at seven sites in Mumbai, including two luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo)
Army soldiers take position outside the Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, after an terror attack in Mumbai on Wednesday night November 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
Police examine a damaged vehicle at the site of an explosion in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on Wednesday evening. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
Unidentified guests of The Taj Hotel comfort each other in an ambulance after they were rescued from the hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
A foreign tourist breaks down after being rescued safely from a hotel following an attack in Mumbai in Mumbai, India, Wednesday night, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
Fire engulfs a part of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Employees of the Taj Hotel comfort each other after they were rescued from the hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen have stormed luxury hotels and other sites in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Fire fighter rescues a guest of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen have stormed luxury hotels and other sites in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
** ALTERNATE CROP ** Employees of The Taj Hotel comfort each other after they were rescued from the hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Scene at the site of a blast in Coilaba, a market in downtown Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
An unidentified guest of the Taj Hotel watches other guests being rescued from a window of the hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen have stormed luxury hotels and other sites in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
** ALTERNATE CROP ** Unidentified guests of the Taj Hotel comfort each other in an ambulance after they were rescued from the hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen have stormed luxury hotels and other sites in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
** ALTERNATE CROP ** A firefighter rescues guests of The Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Police officers inspect a car after they shot dead two suspects in Mumbai, India, on late Wednesday night November 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
** EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT ** A victim of a gun attack lies on a hospital bed at the St. George's hospital in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Indian police say several people have been wounded when gunmen opened fire on at least seven places in Mumbai, including luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
The Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, is caught fire after an attack in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on early Thursday morning November 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
A man carries a victim of a gun attack at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. A top state officials says at least 40 people have been killed and 100 have been injured when gunmen opened fire on a crowded Mumbai train station, luxury hotels and a restaurant popular with tourists. Johnny Joseph, chief secretary for Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, says the death toll could rise further. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
A police officer watches the Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, after an attack in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on Wednesday night November 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
Smoke emerges from behind a dome on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital, killing at least 78 people and wounding at least 200, officials said. The gunmen were specifically targeting Britons and Americans, media reports said, and may be holding hostages. The gunmen also attacked police headquarters in south Mumbai, the area where most of the attacks, which began late Wednesday and continued into Thursday morning, took place. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
A man injured in firing leans on a railing in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Police say several people have been wounded in a series of attacks by terrorist gunmen at seven sites in Mumbai, including two luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo)
Fire engulfs a part of the Taj Mahal Hotel as firemen try to douse it in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A previously unknown group, apparently Muslim militants, took responsibility for the attacks. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
Policemen stand guard on a street at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Indian police say several people have been wounded when gunmen opened fire on at least seven places in Mumbai, including luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo)
Flames and smoke erupt from the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India in this image made from television, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A previously unknown group, apparently Muslim militants, took responsibility for the attacks. A raging fire and explosions struck one of the hotels, the landmark Taj Mahal, early Thursday. (AP Photo/STAR NEWS) ** INDIA OUT TV OUT **
Flames erupt from the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India in this image made from television, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A previously unknown group, apparently Muslim militants, took responsibility for the attacks. A raging fire and explosions struck one of the hotels, the landmark Taj Mahal, early Thursday. (AP Photo/STAR NEWS) ** INDIA OUT TV OUT **
The Taj Hotel, Mumbai's landmark hotel, is caught fire after an attack in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on early Thursday morning November 27, 2008. Teams of heavily armed gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India's financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 78 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. (AP Photo)
** EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT ** A victim of a gun attack lies on a hospital bed at the St. George's hospital in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Indian police say several people have been wounded when gunmen opened fire on at least seven places in Mumbai, including luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
People stand around a damaged vehicle at the site of an explosion in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks. (AP Photo)
A cart stands amidst shattered glass on an empty platform at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Police say several people have been wounded in a series of attacks by terrorist gunmen at seven sites in Mumbai, including two luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo)
A man shows the wounds of another man who was injured in a gunbattle at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Indian police say several people have been wounded when gunmen opened fire on at least seven places in Mumbai, including luxury hotels. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, says police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo)
A man injured in a gunbattle is carried to a hospital, at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Thursday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. (AP Photo)
Policemen inspect the site of a gun attack at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital, killing 16 people and wounding 90, officials and media reports said. A.N. Roy, a senior police officer, said police continued to battle the gunmen. (AP Photo)
An injured man lies on a hotel's baggage trolley in Mumbai, India in this image made from television, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks. (AP Photo/STAR NEWS) ** INDIA OUT TV OUT **
Firefighters inspect the site of an explosion in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks. (AP Photo)
A fire burns at the Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, India in this image made from television, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008
People stand around a damaged vehicle at the site of an explosion in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks. (AP Photo)
Police officers at the scene of a restaurant attack in Mumbai, India in this image made from television, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks. (AP Photo/NDTV) ** INDIA OUT TV OUT **
People seek cover at the front of a hotel in Mumbai, India in this image made from television, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008. Gunmen targeted luxury hotels, a popular tourist attraction and a crowded train station in at least seven attacks in India's financial capital Wednesday, wounding 25 people, police and witnesses said. A.N Roy police commissioner of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, said several people had been wounded in the attacks and police were battling the gunmen. "The terrorists have used automatic weapons and in some places grenades have been lobbed," said Roy. Gunmen opened fire on two of the city's best known Luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They also attacked the crowded Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station in southern Mumbai and Leopold's restaurant, a Mumbai landmark. It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the attacks. (AP Photo/STAR NEWS) ** INDIA OUT TV OUT **

Two business workers from Northern Ireland told last night of their fear as they lay barricaded up in a hotel in Mumbai.

The managers from Belfast firm Sepha were in the financial heart of India to attend a trade show when terrorists stormed hotels targeting westerners and firing indiscriminately into crowds.

Chief executive Aubery Sayers and regional sales manager Claire McGrath spoke last night to the Belfast Telegraph from their hotel rooms where they have been protected by an armed guard and told to remain since Wednesday night.

As events continued a car bomb exploded and tore through the streets around their hotel.

Sepha CEO Mr Sayers said: “I lived through the Troubles in the seventies so I have seen rioting but this is something different.”

Mr Sayers arrived on Wednesday and was unaware of the chaos that had erupted on the streets of Mumbai. From his bolt-hold in the north of the city he said: “When I left everything was fine. When we got to the airport the guys had set up TVs but the channel was in Hindi so we had no idea what was actually happening.

“One of the girls from work phoned to tell me what was happening but it was all very confusing. She thought it was rioting.”

As the horror of what was happening was revealed Mr Sayers said that he began to fear for his own safety. He said: “When we went out, there was armed personnel everywhere and when we got to the hotel we found the army guarding it. It was then that I realised that this was more serious than rioting.”

Local authorities and colleagues advised the managers to stay in their hotel and not venture onto the streets because westerners were being targeted.

Mr Sayers said: “We have been in lock-down ever since. The police have said that all foreign nationals should stay in their rooms.

“Because of that it is hard for us to assess what’s happening.”

He said that the normally bustling streets of Mumbai were deserted while commandos stormed the Taj Mahal hotel: “The place was like a ghost town,” he said.

Claire McGrath, regional sales manager for Sepha has been in Mumbai since Sunday and was setting up for the trade show when news broke of the running gun battles.

She said that the trade show has been cancelled because the authorities fear putting too many westerners in one place.

Mrs McGrath told the Belfast Telegraph that rumours and fear are circulating and it is very hard to get any information on what is actually happening just a few miles from her safe haven.

She said: “There were rumours that some of the terrorists were unaccounted for and that westerners were still under threat. There was a lot of confusion and scaremongering going on.”

Her fear was compounded when they were told of the car bomb close to the hotel.

She said: “About two kilometres from us there was a car bomb.”

One of the main problems is getting their hands on current information. Mrs McGrath said: “It is hard to know what's going on but the news are asking whether the police reacted quickly enough to this when it began.”

Mrs McGrath said that they were all told that the terrorists were seeking out people with British and American passports. One of the glimmers of hope that she then had was that she travels on an Irish passport which may have kept her safe.

Both Mr Sayers and Mrs McGrath are astounded by the scale of these attacks. Mr Sayers compared it to period he saw during the Troubles and said it was far worse than anything like that.

The Sepha management team are trying their best to keep themselves appraised of the situation via rolling news channels which Mr Sayers says often black out as the army mount their operations.

They have flights organised for the weekend and are hoping to be home safe by Sunday but Mrs McGrath posted a message on the Belfast Telegraph and told of how all air and train travel out of the city had been suspended and “the siege continues.”

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