Multiple Sites Targeted in Mumbai Attacks
Taj Mahal Palace and Tower
Opened in 1903, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower is a landmark luxury Mumbai hotel located near the famous Gateway of India. It has more than 500 rooms and is a frequent destination for foreign travelers and the city’s elite.
Gunmen entered the Taj hotel late Wednesday and holed up inside, trapping scores of guests in the facility. Hours later, Indian commandos began a room-to-room search to clear the hotel of gunmen, eventually allowing many hotel guests to flee. As of Friday afternoon, Indian forces were reported to still be engaged in a firefight with at least one militant in the hotel who may still be holding hostages. The number of casualties in the facility is still unclear.
The Oberoi Hotel is in the main financial district of Mumbai, with the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Legislative Assembly nearby.
Similar to the attack on the Taj hotel, gunmen entered the Oberoi hotel Wednesday night, taking positions inside the facility and trapping guests. Indian commandos later launched a room-to-room search to oust attackers and free hotel guests. On Friday, police told news agencies the Oberoi was “completely clear” of militants and that at least 24 bodies had been found inside. At least two Americans, a father and daughter from Virginia, were killed in the Oberoi attack.
The Cafe Leopold
The Cafe Leopold restaurant is a well-known meeting and leisure spot for tourists and foreigners in Mumbai. Travel guide Lonely Planet says “most tourists end up at this Mumbai traveler’s institution at one time or another.”
Gunmen entered the Cafe Leopold and fired at patrons with machine guns and then left, according to media reports. Eyewitnesses said the attackers looked young, “like boys,” the BBC reported. The cafe’s owner told the Wall Street Journal that gunshots hit around 10 people.
CST Railway Station
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, formerly known as the Victoria Terminus, is a busy central hub of public transit in Mumbai. The station was dubbed a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 2004.
Four gunmen entered the the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. Two gunmen were seen firing into the station; two were seen heading toward a nearby movie theater. At least 10 people were killed at the station.
Nariman House is headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai. Chabad-Lubavitch is the world’s largest Jewish educational outreach organization, according to the group’s Web site. It is one of the largest Hasidic movements of Orthodox Judaism and is based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his family, along with several others were taken hostage by militants – although some managed to escape through a back door. Five hostages and two gunmen were killed in the Jewish center, including Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, according to media reports. The couple’s toddler son, Moshe Holtzberg, was smuggled out of the center by an employee, and is now with his grandparents.