All hell is breaking loose in Mumbai as a result of serial bomb blasts, shootings and now the taking of hostages. 80 are now dead and hundreds injured. The word on the street is that the terrorists are targeting those with American and British passports and have taken many hostage inside hotels in the ritzier southern part of Bombay. As of this writing, two terrorists are confirmed dead and seven in police custody, but it is still unknown whether the terrorists are homegrown or foreign. (If you’re up to looking at it, here is a picture of one of the terrorists.) Sadly, the chief of the State of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, Hemant Karkare, was killed along with two other senior officers.
As usual, mainstream media is useless and slow in its updates. I’ve been following the #mumbai Twitter feed and Mahalo is doing a great job rounding up all the news. Blogger Vinu is on the scene and is uploading many of his pictures to Flickr. Gauravonomics has an excellent post up about the power of real-time citizen journalism during these attacks; he has a more extensive set of links. Here is an annotated Google map of Mumbai attack locations. Although a friend in Mumbai says the CNN-IBN and NDTV coverage are pretty restrained, here are links: CNN-IBN and NDTV
Twitter user yelvington just said, “Fascinating. CNN is filling airtime; #mumbai channel is full of tidbits posted by witnesses.” Another chided India’s NDTV for showing footage from one part of the city and referring to it as another (New Orleanians, remember when FOXCNNMSNBC did this during Katrina and Gustav? It’s not just us.)
This is especially painful right now because my parents are in India, even if in Chennai many hundreds of miles away. We have friends in Mumbai, friends who are getting ready to travel there and D, my parents and I are planning to visit northern and northwestern India next year. Only a little while ago, Jaipur, Delhi and Bangalore were hit. The scariest part is not knowing what’s next, where, by whom and why. All those people hurt by people who want to hurt …
The Indian army is finally moving in. I often refer to the Indian government and army as approximately as useful as New Orleans city government or our spineless Democrats, but Mumbai can now use all the help it gets.
Please hope and pray for India.