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CNN International Simulcast: The Latest on the Mumbai Attacks

Aired November 27, 2008 - 18:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was raining broken glass from exploding windows about -- the soldiers didn't know what to do or who to look for.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Cold and calculated. Chilling details emerged of a meticulously planning behind the terror attacks in Mumbai.

And soldiers scrambled to free hostages. This ordeal stretching past the 24-hour mark.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is our special coverage of the attacks on Mumbai. I'm Becky Anderson in London for you.

Well, a complex coordinated operation, carefully selected targets, months of planning. That's the emerging picture that we are now getting of the brazen terrorist attacks around Mumbai. Here is the very latest this hour.

An Indian cabinet minister tells state media that terrorists cased the two targeted hotels even setting up what they call control rooms inside the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. And he says on the night of the strike, the heavily armed attackers entered the city by sea in rubber boats after a mother ship dropped them off.

Well, confusion is the rule at the hotels and a Jewish centre. Gunmen are reportedly holed up in all three locations as well as a number of hostages.

Well, Mumbai police say they are combing the hotel rooms room by room looking for remaining terrorists or victims. An Israeli rescue team is heading to the Jewish center.

Well, as for who is responsible, India's prime minister says that he suspects the attackers came from outside India, but he wouldn't provide any more specifics. Nine suspects are in custody right now.

Well, the situation seems to change by the minute. Our Sara Sidner is tracking developments and she joins us now from Mumbai.

Sara? SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. So let me give you a rundown on what has happened so far and then I'll let you know what's happening right at this hour.

About 10:00 or 10:30 last night, Wednesday night, there was an attack on this hotel. Basically several men went in, they had guns, they had grenades. They went in to terrorize the people inside of the Taj and just did just that.

Basically, for the past 30 or so hours, there are still people, apparently, inside of the hotel, and I say that because there are people who are sitting outside with us waiting saying that they have family members and they're still waiting to hear from them. And still waiting to hear what is going to happen to them and when they'll be able to come out who are apparently hold up in some of those rooms inside this hotel.

However, at this point in time, since we have been standing here over the past few hours, we've heard several bomb blasts throughout the day -- excuse me, blasts, I shouldn't say bomb, but several blasts throughout the day. We've heard several rounds of gunfire throughout the day, and now it's eerily quiet and some of the barriers have been moved.

Behind me, you can get very, very close to this hotel right now. A journalist or an average person, though the area has cleared out a lot, there's only a few journalists left here, but it seems that a lot of the police vehicles that were here cordoning off some of us journalists and some of the public are gone now, and what we're seeing right now is a much more scaled back-looking operation, although I can tell you that there are plenty of vehicles to my right all parked along the -- the waterfront here.

And some of those include ambulances and some look like buses, some may be to take a possible suspect away from the scene, but I have to tell you that right now, it's quiet, and they have removed most of the barriers to get near this Taj Hotel -- Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, Sara, it's -- well, around nearly 4 o'clock in the morning your time at this point. As you say, we've been going on for more than 24 hours with what is rolling coverage of these incidents in -- in Mumbai.

And at this point, you're telling us that it is practically impossible to say whether there is still gunmen in that hotel behind you, whether there are still residents or clients of that hotel in the hotel behind you, or indeed was there any hostages or hostage takers?

That's a really quite confused situation, isn't it?

SIDNER: It is. And every now and then you'll get a hint, they'll say, oh, we're going to do something, something is going to happen and then nothing happens or find out what we -- what we last found out is that there was indeed still one person considered a terrorist suspect inside. They said he was wounded and they said that he was getting tired and that something was going to happen soon. We have not heard anything yet. Normally, when we hear something might happen, you hear bangs or you hear gunfire.


SIDNER: And there has been nothing like that over the past few hours now, so we can't tell what is going on inside.

ANDERSON: Yes. Sara Sidner there outside the Taj Mahal.

You can see the notices we're putting up here on the -- below myself and Sara on the screen to keep you updated on exactly what is going on there and a running ticker for you.

Sara, thank you for that.

Sara Sidner there and outside the Taj Mahal Hotel. And once in a while we'll put up some video up for you and I'll try to reference it for you and keep you up to date on what you are seeing on your screen to any one time.

Stay with CNN, 24 hours, for coverage on this story in addition to our reporters in India and of course, we've got correspondents spread out across the globe tracking the latest developments for you.

In London, Paula Newton is following the intelligence trail to try to learn who may be responsible for the deadly violence and why India didn't see the attacks coming.

Chief international correspondent Christian Amanpour is in New York with the look at how relations between India and Pakistan are evolving and whether this attack could change that.

Brianna Keilar is following developments from the White House and getting President Bush's reactions to the ongoing events. Ed Henry is in Chicago with the Obama transition team bringing updates on how the next U.S. president is viewing the situation in India.

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr looking into ways that the U.S. military could offer its support to Indian authorities.

Those just a number of the huge gang of reporters, correspondents, CNN has for you around the world. You wouldn't expect anything less from this channel, would you now?

Blasts, confusion, hotel guests held at gunpoint. Survivors of the assault on Mumbai are sharing their stories.

Mallika Kapur has some dramatic eyewitness accounts now of what is the day-and-night, and day-and-night horror.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It was a night they would rather forget.

SONALI CHATTERJEE, WITNESS: One explosion practically knocked me off my feet, the first big one, and that's when I saw the (INAUDIBLE). There's an explosion on the roof. That was -- I'm just on a phone call, and I just -- I was standing and everything shook. So that was very, very scary.

KAPUR: As gunmen attacks nine locations across Mumbai, Alex Chamberlain found himself held at gunpoint in a restaurant of the Oberoi Hotel.

ALEX CHAMBERLAIN, WITNESS: A gunman came into the restaurant, and we were ushered, or some of us were ushered into the kitchen. I think some of the others got out the backdoor. And then the gunmen told us to go up the stairs, up the fire escape stairs, about 30 of us altogether.

So we were walking up each flight of stairs, and then he stopped us after two or three flights and told everyone to put their hands up and said, where are you from? You know are there any British or Americans here? Show us your ID and all this. But people started getting out their business cards or ID cards or whatever.

And my friend said, you know, tell them you're Italian or something if they come up to you, you know? So I was there with my hands up just thinking -- basically, I was in, you know, in serious trouble.

KAPUR: Yasmin Wong was nearby in her hotel in the Taj Hotel when she started hearing gunshots. She turned off the lights and hid in her room.

YASMIN WONG, CNN INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYEE: All I saw was like a lot of smoke and I saw a guy outside my window above me and my window who basically had smashed through the window and was hanging out of the window.

KAPUR: As the extent of the attack sank in, anger grew, not only at the terrorists, but also the Indian government for failing to see it coming.

VIJAY MALLYA, CHAIRMAN, KINGFISHER: This is India's 9/11. And, you know, as much as we never thought it could ever happen to us, it has actually happened. And I think that the government needs to really start acting tough.

KAPUR: Even before the hostage crisis was over, funerals were being planned across Mumbai. For police, for ordinary people, for all those that did not survive Mumbai's horror.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ANDERSON: Who is behind these attacks? One group has claimed responsibility, but terrorism experts aren't sure about that, instead, they suspect another group, one that says they had nothing to do with the violence.

Phil Black sought out the claims and the counterclaims.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Indian government clearly has its own ideas about who was responsible for this.

MANMOHAN SINGH, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER: It is evident that the group which carried out these attacks based outside the country, had come with single-minded determination to create havoc in the commercial capital of the country.

BLACK: Experts on Indian security support the prime minister's theory. They believe the attackers were not exclusively homegrown.

SAJJAN GOHEL, TERRORISM EXPERT: What you're seeing is that these type of attacks are established. There's a network and well-planned reconnaissance and logistics and financial support. It can only be from a group that is receiving international support, obviously, with a domestic dimension.

BLACK: And analysts say Mumbai and westerners were specifically targeted because of the operation's ambitious goals.

GOHEL: This time there was a multi-pronged approach. It wasn't just about targeting Indians. It was aimed but it wasn't the only one. They also wanted to go after westerners as well. They wanted to create a lack of confidence in people traveling to India, hit at the economy, hit at the tourism industry.

BLACK: One group has claimed responsibility, the little-known Deccan Mujahideen. But security experts don't believe it.

WILL GEDDES, SECURITY ANALYST: Deccan Mujahideen seems to be this amazing group that has come out of nowhere, that has been operating under the radar after all this time, yet able to mount such a sophisticated and well-coordinated attack.

BLACK: Analysts believe this is more likely the work of another well-established outfit like Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based Islamic militants who oppose Indian control in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

A spokesman for Lashkar-e-Taiba says the group wasn't involved in the attacks in Mumbai and condemn them.

But the Indian authorities have blamed Lakshar for previous attacks like the 2001 assault on India's parliament which brought the two countries to the verge of war and the bombing of this Mumbai train which killed more than 190 people in 2006. Terror strikes have become a regular part of life across India, but whoever did this wanted a strong reaction and they succeeded.

VIJAY DUTT, HINDUSTAN TIMES JOURNALIST: This attack in India has created a backlash which is equal to that of America after 9/11.

BLACK: The investigation may have only just begun, but already fingers are pointing across the border, to militants in Pakistan.

Phil Black, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, this is not the first time, of course, India has been rattled by a series of terrorist attacks over the past several years. From January of 2004 to March of last year more than 3600 people died in terror attacks in the country.

Well, that number is second to just Iraq in the same period. Now that is according to the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington.

Look at some of the attacks this year alone. In May, seven synchronized bombs were detonated in the city of Jaipur, a popular tourist destination. At that destination 67 people were killed.

In late July, the western city of Ahmedabad was struck first on busy city streets and then at a hospital where the wounded were being rushed. 52 people died. And in September, five bombs went off in the capital New Delhi killing 24 people.

Well, of course, the Mumbai attacks are having reverberations to well outside India's border. Israel, in particular, is reeling from the plot and those caught up in the attacks are only just starting to comprehend the atrocities that they have witnessed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I passed bodies and people with bullet wounds, and I guess an old man had passed out from the flames.


ANDERSON: You are watching CNN International with me, Becky Anderson, in London.

Now as the violence in Mumbai, India is, we hope, at least nearing its end. We're slowly getting information on who some of the hostages might be. The Foreign Ministry in Paris, for example, has told CNN 15 to 20 French nationals were trapped in the Oberoi Hotel complex in Mumbai, including 15 Air France crew members.

Some of the hostages have been held for more than 24 hours now. While that may contribute to frustration for relatives, Indian army officials say that they are following a very specific procedure in the room-to-room searches at the hotels.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) R.H. HUDA, INDIAN ARMY: Every room has to be searched.


HUDA: For not only the terrorists and the human beings and the hostages, there will be a search for the explosives. The sniffer dogs have to be taken into that part and even if there are any bodies which may be there, everybody has to be sniffed, so that they -- they're not booby trap.



HUDA: So don't quantify time.


HUDA: Things are in control. People are doing a good job. You will get (INAUDIBLE).


ANDERSON: An Israeli rescue team is rushing to the city to try to resolve a hostage standoff at a Jewish center in the southern part of Mumbai.

Our Andrew Stevens is outside that building right now and he joins us by phone.

What do we know at this point, Andrew?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just in the last five minutes or so, Becky, we've heard another explosion here. It sounded like a hand grenade exploding going around this very silent street in the area around the Chabad House, which is a Jewish community -- community centre.

The area is pretty well cordoned off. We can't get that close to it all, probably about 30 meters away from where I am up a maze of winding streets. This is the -- this is a predominantly Muslim area of south of Mumbai, and it really is -- it's a (INAUDIBLE) of streets and old shops running right through this whole area.

Now what we understand, at the moment, is they -- there are four, perhaps five hostages still held in the community center. They include the rabbi and his wife, and two guests from Israel, and possibly a younger family member of the rabbi.

Earlier today, Becky, the young -- the grandson or son of the rabbi was led out by a helper, a domestic helper. They evaded the gunman and got out early in the morning and they are safe and well.

There has been three explosions now since I have been here over the past three or four hours, and that is all we can report at the moment. There hasn't been any sign of gunfire. We don't know how many guns are actually in the building, but people here been telling me that any approach to the building is met with hand grenades being thrown from the Chabad House by the gunmen -- Becky?

ANDERSON: Andrew Stevens reporting there from one of the fluid situations ongoing in Mumbai as we speak. Some, we're looking at 27, 28 hours after these events began now.

Now you've got an ongoing situation at the Chabad Jewish centre, as Andrew was describing there. You have one going on at the Taj Mahal Hotel, and indeed at the Oberoi. And these pictures that you're seeing now, pictures from earlier on in the day, because it is now the middle of the night in Mumbai.

A lot of these pictures coming to us over the last hours or so as people were led out of hotels. Certainly from the Oberoi and the Taj, and as Andrew said, it's believed still some people are being held at that Jewish centre.

Stick with CNN more and all of this, of course, as we get it.

Now earlier Israel's foreign ministry commented on the situation at that Jewish centre and said exact details are indeed hard to come by.


ANDY DAVID, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY: We have information of a Jewish prayer house, the Chabad House, which is a place of gatherings for Jews and Israelis who want to pray.

We know that the rabbi and his wife and maybe a few others were taken hostages. We have a lot of concern for their lives. We don't know exactly what is the situation there. It is very difficult to get accurate information.


ANDERSON: And he is absolutely right with that. But of course, you can get more on the attacks in Mumbai on our Web site, and there you'll find all the latest developments, analysis, video archives. You can watch our partner network, CNN-IBN. That is all at

Now many of you, our viewers, got caught up in the mayhem and your stories on the Mumbai attacks and all of the latest developments -- our special coverage continuing after this very short break here on CNN.

I'm Becky Anderson here in London.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was terrible to wait outside. It seemed like a lifetime this (INAUDIBLE) anything. All that we were hearing was gunshots and one blast, and it makes you feel angry at these senseless killings and very, very helpless.


ANDERSON: Well, you're watching our special coverage of the Mumbai attacks here on CNN International. I'm Becky Anderson in London with you. Welcome back.

Some of the most powerful images from Mumbai are being sent in by the city's own residents trying to make sense of the chaos unfolding around them. (INAUDIBLE) pictures of iReporter Aaron Kadri, for example, sent us these images of a charred Cafe Leopold, Mumbai landmark in the Taj Hotel.

He writes, "It's high time Indian government learns a lesson from all the terrorist attacks which have been inflicted in the past. Being an Indian and hailing from the city of Mumbai, I would agree that the security in Mumbai is appalling."

A Mumbai student Vineet Pandit submitted these iReport photos from the city's luxury hotels as pictures show reporters and anxious relatives waiting for the very latest news as the hostage situation unfolds at the Oberoi Hotel.

And the pictures show the smoke pouring from the dome of the Taj. You can see it there at the left of the dome.

Well, CNN has a separate Web site especially for you to submit video and images. It is Check it out online, you'll find lots of viewer submissions, many of which have been airing on CNN.

Do tell us about how you are dealing with the crisis if you are indeed in Mumbai, but first and foremost, do remember to stay safe. Remember this is an extremely dangerous situation. There are gunmen still in those hotels and indeed possibly hostages there as well.

But if you can, however, get out there, we do want to hear from you. Again, that's iReport at -- sorry,

Now engaging the enemy, the search for gunmen hiding out in Mumbai's luxury hotels.

As world leaders express their condemnation of the attacks and their condolences to the people suffering the crisis, we're they covering the story from all angles for you here on CNN.


ANDERSON: You're watching special coverage of the Mumbai attacks. I'm Becky Anderson in London for you here with the very latest of the crisis.

India's financial capital has entered its the second day, but it seems far from over. In a televised national address, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh implied the attackers were foreigners. He stopped short of blaming any particular country. Meanwhile, police are searching for terrorist holdouts and those behind Wednesday night's attacks.

India's National Security Guard are reportedly trying to engage gunmen still holed up in two five-star hotel which is the Taj and the Oberoi. Some guests and hostages are also inside, but how many is unclear at this point.

Well, Indian authorities say that two or three gunmen are believed to be inside the Chabad House Jewish Centre where several hostages, including the rabbi, are still apparently being held. And explosions have been echoing throughout the area in the last few hours.

Well, state media reports that the killers planned the attacks months in advance, arrived by boat and had even set up control rooms inside the targeted hotels. The death toll at present stands at 125, with more than 300 wounded.

So there is now a tense calm outside of The Taj Mahal Hotel. It was seen as one of the carefully coordinated attacks.

Our Sara Sidner has been following developments hour by hour from outside the hotel and has the very latest on the situation for you.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After a series of explosions and a series of gunshots, the area here outside The Taj right now is quiet at this hour.

We can tell you that police officials, about a few hours ago, basically said that there was one remaining terrorist who may still be somewhere in that hotel and that they plan to get this job done very soon.

At this point, we've talked to one gentleman, who was in the hotel overnight who experienced some of the terror that guests in the hotel experienced throughout this ordeal that's been going on now for more than 24 hours. He said he was inside the tower -- one of the newer sections of The Taj. He could hear many blasts. And then he was eventually rescued by commandos who came up and basically had a key to open up the door and let him out. That's how he knew that they were rescuers and not terrorists. He was able to get out. And he is safe and sound tonight.

There is hopes that other people inside the heritage part of the hotel -- the oldest part, that has been around since 103 years, that has been around for a very long time -- there is hope that there are people that are going to be rescued and will come out of there safe and alive.

But at this hour, we are not seeing anything from police just yet as to the numbers of people who still may be inside and as to the number of possible casualties or any injuries that may have happened.

We can tell you we have been here throughout the day and heard blast after blast followed by a succession of gunshots that sounded like they were coming from automatic weapons.

But lately, it has been very, very quiet. There is still a bit of a crowd here just watching and waiting to see what happens. Sara Sidner, CNN, Mumbai, India.

ANDERSON: Well, Sara, of course, at one of the live situations in Mumbai as we speak.

(INAUDIBLE) is in front of the Oberoi Hotel, one of the other live situations, looking for any remaining terrorists and victims. Mallika Kapur joins us now by phone from Mumbai with that part of the story -- Mallika, what do we know about what's going on at the Oberoi Hotel?

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, J.K. Do you think, who is the director-general of India's elite National Security Guards, he has told us, this network, CNN IBN, that one of the gunmen who is holed up at the Oberoi Hotel has been killed at 1:00 a.m. Local time. And so it's 5:00 a.m. Local time. So about four hours ago, we believe that one of the gunmen has been killed.

Now, the gentleman couldn't tell us how many other gunmen were left inside the Oberoi. But all earlier reports have indicated that were two gunmen holed up inside the Oberoi tonight. So knowing that one of them was killed about four hours ago, we believe that there is still one gunman left within the Oberoi and the standoff, in fact, continues -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. Well, we're about, what, 26, 27, 28 or maybe 29 hours into this now -- maybe even 30 hours into this.

Mallika, you've been covering the story right from the beginning.

Can you describe for our viewers who may be just joining us and just learning of these events for the first time what the city feels like to you?

Given that you are a resident of Mumbai, you would expect certain characteristics of this city on a, what, Friday morning.

What's the sense in the city tonight, early morning?

KAPUR: It's very, very quiet. It's strangely quiet. Mumbai is a city of 19 million people. You can imagine just what sort of buzz the city has. It's a very vibrant city, a city with a lot of buzz. It's a city that's known to never sleep.

But, of course, the city has been wide awake for the last two nights for all the wrong reasons -- because of a very palpable sense of fear, of tension across the city. The roads are deserted. There is an eerie calm and quiet across the city.

And people are just really wondering when is this going to be over, when can they put this behind them?

And more than 30 hours into the standoff, there is no sign of it coming to an end -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes. And an undetermined number of hostages remaining inside both of those hotels and, indeed, inside of the Jewish Centre. Mallika, we thank you for that.

Mallika Kapur, our Mumbai correspondent, in Mumbai, reporting live for us from the situation as it unfolds.

Still, let us tell you, quite confused, the information coming out of some of these locations. But all we can say is that there are still live situations. Some observers are concerned that the attacks could reignite tension between Hindus and Muslims.

The disputed region of Kashmir is a longstanding flashpoint for tensions between the two communities.

To give you an idea of the religious makeup of India, here are some of the figures from the 2001 census which might be useful to you.

There are more than 827 million Hindus in India. That is about 80 percent of the country's population. The Muslims are in the minority, making up around 13 percent of the population. There's still about 150 Muslims. It's the second largest Muslim community in the world. In fact, there are also 24 million Christians in India -- about 2.3 percent of the country's religious demographic. And another 2 percent of India's people are Sikh.

Well, world leaders are speaking out on the terror attacks.

Sasha Herriman is back. She has a round-up of global reaction.


SASHA HERRIMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Political leaders around the world are expressing shock at the horrific carnage that's engulfed the City of Mumbai.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In time, we will assess which group is responsible. We don't have all the details, what the implications are for the rest of the world.

HERRIMAN: Even the pope spoke out. A statement on the Vatican Web site saying he was deeply concerned about the outbreak of violence and urgently appeals for an end to all kinds of acts of terrorism.

There have been promises of help from the British.

BROWN: At the same time as we're giving support to the Indian prime minister, we're sending police emergency teams that are well versed in dealing with terrorism. And we will try to give what support we can through British police and security officials.

HERRIMAN: From the Australians...

SIMON CREAN, ACTING AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We also express our fundamental solidarity with the Indian government and its people. HERRIMAN: And from the Japanese...

TAKEO KAWAMURA, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Japan and India will continue to work closely to fight against terrorism.

HERRIMAN: President-Elect Barack Obama said the United States must continue to strengthen partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks.


HERRIMAN: Even the president and the prime minister of Pakistan -- the country Indian authorities claim is the home of the terrorists -- strongly condemned the attacks.

But even if the worldwide declarations of disrust rang out, emergency services in India have begun the gruesome task of identifying the dead. It may be the task of some of the same world leaders who addressed the world today to address the heartbroken friends and families of the deceased tomorrow.

Sasha Herriman, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, the voices of the leaders.

Let's take a look at some of the world's newspapers, then, and find out how they are dealing with the tragedy unfolding in India.

Let's begin for you with the front page of "The Guardian" for Friday. And it reads: "Massacre in Mumbai." The picture -- blood spattered security staff escorting one of the victims of the attacks from the city streets. Now, the article claims: "It was clear that foreign targets, especially those from the U.S. and the U.K., had been singled out."

Well, fears for Israeli lives dominate the front page of "The Jerusalem Post." And there's no surprise there, is it?

An Israeli rescue team is rushing to Mumbai as we speak, hoping to resolve a hostage situation at a Jewish Centre in the southern part of the city. The toddler shown there was brought to safety. There you can see on the right hand side in the picture there -- in fact, that's from the Chabad House. But there was no word from other Israelis believed to have been held in the buildings. The front page of "The Jerusalem Post" for Friday for you.

And it's another personal story that hit the headlines in "The Independent" newspaper, back here in London. "As soon as we sat down, we heard the machine guns. They took us into the kitchen. There must have been 1,000 people here. All we know is that the bombs are next door and the hotel is shaking. Everybody is living on their nerves."

Those are the last words of Britan Andres Livres (ph), amongst those who lost their lives in Mumbai.

We want to check some of the other stories making news for you a little later.

Plus, a closer look at the reasons behind attacks like the one in Mumbai. An expert weighs in on how moderates become extremists.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: All right. Reaction to the Mumbai terror attacks is springing up around the world. And that includes in cyberspace and on our Web site, of course.

We go to the CNN Center now and bring in Guillermo Arduino, who has been checking the ether for us.

What have you got?

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have a lot on In fact, you can see the live coverage of what's going on right now and live television. At the same time, you can interact with the Web site. You can go into each individual story -- "Commandos Raid Mumbai Hotels" is one example.

Then you can go to the top of the Web page. And, also, you can use it like a search engine, look and go through different videos that we've been collecting, not only through our own eyes, but CNN IBN, our sister network, and witness certain accounts, for instance.

That's basically all you can do and much more on -- very easy. It's the front page of our Web site.

Besides, I've been working for the next hour on what's going on with bloggers. And we have actually contacted one in Mumbai who is sending our -- their pictures that he got and also accounts -- an interview that actually Korema Kedwitz (ph) had with him. And I'm going to show you that, as well.

His name Arun Shanbhag. That's one example of some of the pictures that we got from him. And the fact that he was there on vacation visiting his father and then everything -- all of this happened and he went out to see what was going on and actually `to stay connected through his blog that is there at the bottom of the screen, with friends, family and all those who are interested actually are bringing very interesting comments and direct accounts of what's going on.

That's coming up, Becky, in the next hour. Of course, again,, with plenty information up to the minute.


Guillermo Adruino there at the CNN Center.

Thanks, Guillermo.

ADRUINO: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Well, we're going to continue our coverage of Mumbai in a moment.

First, though, let's get you a very quick look at some of the other news that we are following for you here on CNN.

And protesters in Bangkok continue trying to force the Thai government to step down. And now the embattled prime minister has declared a state of emergency at Bangkok's two main airports -- both occupied by anti-government protesters.

Well, Hugh Riminton is there in Thailand's capital. And it's from there that he filed this report.


HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a national crisis that's dwarfed by events going on in Mumbai at the moment. But it is a national crisis just the same. It's one that's affecting thousands -- probably potentially tens of thousands of foreign travelers coming into Bangkok and Thailand.

There has, of course, been an occupation now taking place for more than 24 hours of the two main airports into Bangkok. The prime minister from a cabinet meeting, not in Bangkok, but in the northern city of Chiang Mai, -- he simply couldn't even fly into Bangkok -- announced a state of emergency just a short time ago.

Here's what he said.

SOMCHAI WONGSAWAT, THAI PRIME MINISTER (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): As head of government, I have to do something to restore order. It is necessary for me to declare a state of emergency in some areas. In doing this, I do not have any intention to hurt members of the public. I want to facilitate the work of security officials to create understanding for people who have misunderstood the situation.

RIMINTON: Well, he has given control of the situation to the Metropolitan and Provincial Police of Bangkok. He says they can have backup from the air force and the navy -- intriguingly, making no mention of the army, whose head just yesterday suggested that the way out of this might be for the prime minister to declare the dissolution of parliament and to call new elections. The army being sidelined as they try to get this state of emergency into place.

But just behind me, just to my left, there are still thousands of people occupying the main airport. They remain defiant. They say the leaders have been saying don't be afraid. And they come at us with water canons, but we plan to keep our occupation in place.


ANDERSON: Hugh Riminton. And off the coast of France, a jetliner has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea with seven people on board. Rescue efforts are underway, but so far, no reports of survivors. The Airbus A320 reportedly belongs to a New Zealander who was making a test flight when it went down.

Well, India has been forced to shut its stock, bonds, currency and commodity markets -- and no clear sign as to when the trading might resume.

Later in Europe, the stock markets were open as normal. The trading was light, though, owing to the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. Gains for financial and commodity shares lifted all the main indices firmly into positive territory. It's always good to see that, isn't it, given what we've seen over the past two-and-a-half months or so.

And you've got London up there about 1.75 percent. The LDAX in Germany and the Paris market are both well into the plus column.

Now, a big hurdle in Iraq now overcome. Most of political wrangling and negotiations are over and the Iraqi government has approved a U.S./Iraqi security agreement that sets a deadline -- a firm deadline for the U.S. troop withdrawal.

Arwa Damon reports.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was, without a doubt, a historic moment in Iraq's recent history, despite opposition from the Sadrist bloc that tried to create chaos in parliament by chanting and carrying slogans of saying no, no to the agreement.

Iraq's parliament did finally pass the security agreement between the Iraq and the United States that will lay out a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal and define the nature of the two countries' relationships in the upcoming years.

The agreement goes into effect on December 31st at midnight. And from there on, the U.S. military's role here will be greatly restricted. They will no longer have the ability to detain Iraqis unless, after a judge issues an arrest warrant.

All detainees will be handed over to Iraqi authorities within 24 hours. The U.S. military will also require Iraqi approval to carry out military operations -- effectively handing over the bulk of the security portfolio to the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government itself.

This agreement did not pass easily through parliament. There was much last minute meetings, intense debate taking place, mainly because the Sunnis and other parties opposing the agreement wanted to have what is being called a political reform agreement in place first. Quite simply, they did not trust the predominantly Shia government of Nuri Al-Maliki to not abuse the powers the U.S./Iraq Agreement bestows upon the government. That political reform agreement did get pushed through parliament, as well.

And as challenging as getting everything passed on this day was what really is going to test Iraq in the time to come, is going to be what happens after that agreement goes into effect.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


ANDERSON: You're watching special coverage, of course, of the attacks on Mumbai with me, Becky Anderson, in London.

You're watching CNN International.

In fact, those who survived the Mumbai massacre will never forget. We're going to hear their stories as only they can tell them and from governments around the world.

We are though, going to take a very short break for you, leaving you, though, during that time with our sister network, CNN IBN in India. Let's see how they are covering the story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 7:00 a.m. Outside the imposing Taj Mahal Hotel in Calabar. Crack commandos of the elite National Security Guards wait to storm the hotel in their bid to rescue dozens of hostages from terrorists holed up inside.

The Mumbai police had just finished the first free pre-operation briefing of the commandoes and the layout of the hotel and its occupants.

It was more than nine hours after the hostage drama first began in India's financial capital -- a time line which has now left security and counter-terrorism experts aghast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are elements in place in the national security cart where a commando squad is -- can be mobilized in a matter of minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The handling of the Mumbai hostage crisis now suggests two disturbing outcomes. While experts agree there was an inordinate delay by the government in ordering commandos to the crisis part, only amateurish methods seem to have been used in surrounding them. It was a mistake committed by...



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...gunfire and we heard grenades. And there was a lot of panic -- people running, people getting trampled.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN live from London.

I'm Becky Anderson for you.

And the unanswered question in India is still why -- why these attacks on these targets at this time and how can they be prevented in the future?

Well, my colleague Jonathan Mann discussed all of that earlier with Deepak Chopra, the Indian physician and philosopher who has written more than 40 books on human interactions.

This is some of what they said.


DEEPAK CHOPRA, CHOPRA CENTER FOR WELL BEING: What we have been seeing in Mumbai has been brewing for a long time. And the war on terrorism and the attack on Iraq only compounded the situation.

What we call collateral damage and going after the wrong people actually turns moderates into extremists. And that information then gets organized and it appears as this disaster in Bombay.

Now, the worst thing that could happen is there's a backlash on the Muslims from the fundamentalist Hindus in India, which then will perpetuate the problem. Inflammation will create more inflammation. And I...

JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me jump in on that thought, because you're presuming something very important, which is that it's Muslims who have carried out these attacks and, in some sense, with Washington in their sights.

CHOPRA: Ultimately, the message is always toward Washington, because it's also the perception that Washington, in a way, directly or indirectly, funds both sides of the war on terrorism. We fund our side. Then our petro dollars go into Saudi Arabia through Pakistan. Ultimately, these terrorists groups, which are very organized -- you know, Jonathan, it takes a lot of money to do this. It takes a lot of organization to do this.

Where is the money coming from, you know?

The money is coming from vested interests. I'm not talking about conspiracy theories. But what happens is our policies -- our foreign policies actually perpetuate this problem because, you know, 25 percent of the world's population is Muslim. And they're the fastest growing segment of the population in the world. The more we alienate the Muslim population, the more the moderates are likely to become extremists.

MANN: Io hope you'll forgive me for jumping in, because someone might say the dispute over Kashmir has caused so much violence, so much terror. And that's not Washington's fault. And the war on terror hasn't really been the problem there.

CHOPRA: It's not Washington's fault. You know, right now this is not Washington's problem. It's not India's problem. It's not Pakistan's problem. It's not Afghanistan's problem. It's not Saudi Arabia's problem. It's everybody's problem.

This is the moment where India has to stop blaming Pakistan and actually ask Pakistan for help, because Pakistan is going to become a failed state and a breeding ground for the terrorism.

In turn, it's not enough for Zardari to say I condemn this. He should be telling India, what can I do to help eliminate these terrorist groups?

And as far as Kashmir is concerned, unless they find an equitable solution for the Kashmiris which is independent of India's interests, independent of Pakistan's interests, the problem is going to perpetuate.

So it's all interlinked. There has to be a Kashmiri resolution. There has to be this ceasing of enmity between India and Pakistan. And there has to be, also, a broader perspective for America that declaring a war on terrorism is an oxymoron.

War is what the people who are wearing uniforms and pressing buttons from 35,000 feet above sea level, causing collateral damage, they call it the war on terrorism.

The other side perceives it awe and terror, OK?

So it's the perspective. Right now, the Americans have to come up with a policy -- hopefully President-Elect Obama will say, you know, 25 percent of the world's population is Muslim.

How I can use these 25 percent to overturn the table on these terrorist groups?

Because these terrorist groups -- the worst thing that could happen for them is if Obama wins the sympathy of the Muslim world by making friends with them.


ANDERSON: And that's the physician and the writer, Deepak Chopra speaking to my colleague, John Mann.

And that is it for us here in London tonight. We're going to take a short break on CNN.

But our special coverage of the Mumbai attacks continues with Hala Gorani at CNN Center in Atlanta.

Don't go away.

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