Nearly 180 killed in Mumbai attacks

The death toll following 60 hours of siege in Mumbai has officially been put at nearly 180 in various attacks. The last part of the siege to end was that at the Taj hotel, which was retaken by Indian authorities on Saturday morning.

The Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said preliminary information suggested that “some elements” in Pakistan were responsible for the strikes on the two hotels, the Nariman Centre and the railway stations in Mumbai. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken up the issue with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

Investigators, including some from the US FBI who are coordinating investigations in Mumbai, are working on the leads that all the attackers came from Pakistan. They are thought to have captured an Indian fishing vessel, killed five men and used it to get close to Mumbai and used inflatable dinghies to arrive.

So far, details of the nationalities of people who lost their lives in the attacks are not clear. The identities of 15 people – three Germans, three Israelis, two Canadians, one each from the US, Britain, Japan, Australia, Italy, China and Thailand – have been confirmed. All other casualties are thought to be Indian.

Twenty-two bodies were recovered from the Taj Hotel after the end of the siege. The total number of people rescued from the two hotels and the Jewish centre at Nariman House run to nearly 1,000 during the 60 hours.

A total of 295 people were injured in all the attacks so far, many of them remain in critical condition.

At least 11 attackers have been killed so far. Fifteen security forces and police personnel, including the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism chief and a major of the National Security Guard, were among those killed while fighting the attacks.

One of the attackers has been captured and it has been disclosed that he is a Pakistani national from Multan.

Both Indian and Pakistani authorities initially stated that the head of Pakistan’s military intelligence, the ISI, Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, would visit India to share information on the attacks. It was later clarified by the Pakistani authorities that a representative of the ISI will visit India. The earlier information was ascribed to a miscommunication.

The Indian Home Minister, Shivraj Patil, resigned on Sunday and has been replaced by P Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister. The Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Home Minister R. R. Patil have also tendered their resignations.