India: “Deccan Mujahedeen” claim Mumbai attacks

In an e-mail to local news outlets, an organization calling itself the “Deccan Mujahedeen” claimed responsibility for the coordinated shooting attacks in Mumbai that left at least 100 dead Nov. 26. Fighting continued as the e-mail arrived, with army commandos moved into the luxury Oberoi and the Taj Mahal hotels to flush out gunmen holed up on the premises. Attackers hit ten places in Mumbai, including the rail station, mostly targeting foreigners. Hostages are still being held in the hotels and an office bloc, and fighting continues between security forces and militants armed with automatic weapons and grenades. The army has been called in, and residents have been told to remain indoors. Pakistan’s ISI has formally denied involvement. (Pakistan Daily Times, Times of India, BBC World Service, Nov. 27)

Among the sites apparently seized by gunmen is the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch, and shots have been heard coming from the building. Representatives of the New York-based group referred questions to their Web site, which said the Israeli consulate had earlier been in touch with the rabbi who lived on the premises, “but the line was cut in middle of the conversation. No further contact has since been established.” (AP, Nov. 27)

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