TERROR GRIPS INDIA
IBM offices not affected, Rochester official says
Staff and news services
MUMBAI, India — 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 and taking Westerners hostage today, police said.
A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.
"I hope the government can tackle the situation," said Khalique Abdul, owner of the India Garden Restaurant in Rochester.
Gunfire continued near dawn at two India hotels, said A.N. Roy, a top police official.
"Our thoughts and prayers, on behalf of myself, and I’m sure the company, are with those people," said Mary Welder, spokeswoman for IBM in Rochester. IBM has a regional headquarters in Bangalore, India, according to IBM.com.
"No IBM employees have been injured. None of our offices have been damaged, and that’s all the information I can give you right now," Welder said.
Raging fire and explosions struck the landmark Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai just after midnight. Screams rose and black smoke billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai’s waterfront. Attackers targeted Britons and Americans at the hotels and restaurant, witnesses said. Officials said at least 120 people were wounded.
Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the upscale Oberoi hotel, told Sky News television that a gunman took 30 to 40 people from the restaurant to a stairway and, in Hindi or Urdu, ordered everyone to put up their hands. He managed to slip away, but thought most were kept hostage.
CNN.com reported late Wednesday those hostages were freed.
The motive was not clear, but Mumbai has often been targeted in terror attacks, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.