Friday, November 28, 2008

Terror in Mumbai

The imposing Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba, Mumbai

To be in India, and to be in Mumbai particularly just 4 days after the series of terror attacks in the capital is an experience. I woke up yesterday with a deluge of sms from all over - Australia, Shanghai, U.S., London, Manila - all worried about me. But I have since left for Hyderabad and now, Chennai.

But these fidayeen attacks, loosely translated to "suicide bombers" have rocked the country as well as the world - and it all rings so true to home. Haven't we had much of this in Manila? You see, these fidayeen attacks have targetted 10 of the most important high-profile areas in Mumbai, especially the Colaba area, which is south Mumbai. My hotel was just a comfortable walk - 150 meters from the Taj Mahal Hotel as well as the Gateway of India. I have walked through the Taj, the Oberoi Trident Hotel, the Leopold Cafe, the CST Terminus (for my Hyderabad train), and the Metro Cinema - all among the 10 bombed sights in Mumbai.
With just a number of less than 30 terrorists circling the capital, they have managed to spread panic throughout the nation - and it reverberates so palpably, much like it did during the september 11 attack. The Lashkar-e-Taiba group has claimed the attacks, but it would seem that a Pakistani group has a major link with this attackers (Punjabi language was caught on phones). Currently, 110+ people have died including 6 foreigners, and 270+ are injured.

I just wish this will all stop soon, and the people of Mumbai can move on.

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