Mumbai shocked in terror attack aftermath

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Mumbai, India’s financial capital and one of the world’s major shipmanagement centres was brought to a standstill Thursday, hours after the city was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks which killed over 100 and injured over 300, writes Sean Moloney from Mumbai.

The normally teeming streets were virtually empty as businesses closed and local residents heeded police calls to stay indoors.

An eerie calm descended on those hotels not targeted with residents trying to go about their normal daily business. One shipping conference I attended was cut short for fear of the 250 ships’ officers being an easy congregated target. We were advised to stay in our rooms and not to congregate in other than small groups and to avoid the lobby areas.

News was patchy from the attack sites and local TV reports were coming in that the terror suspects had used a cargo ship to enter the city. Press reports suggested that police had boarded a vessel called the Alpha suspected of alleged ties to the attacks in Mumbai. An Indian navy spokesman said the vessel had recently come to Mumbai from Karachi in Pakistan.

Another unconfirmed report suggested that a Greek shipowner, who may have been attending a conference at the Oberoi, was also among the casualties. This report could not be confirmed.

A heavy cordon surrounded the airport with army sharp shooters and heavily armed vehicles sent to protect against an attack.