Monday, December 1, 2008

Press reveals gruesome details about the Mumbai attacks

Rediff India Abroad reports:

Doctors shocked at hostages's torture

by Krishnakumar P and Vicky Nanjappa in Mumbai

They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.

Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Corroborating the doctors' claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. "During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis," an IB source said.

It is also said that the Israeli hostages were killed on the first day as keeping them hostage for too long would have focused too much international attention. "They also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House," he reasoned.

On the other hand, there is enough to suggest that the terrorists also did not meet a clean, death.

The doctors who conducted the post mortem said the bodies of the terrorists were beyond recognition. "Their faces were beyond recognition."

There was no way of identifying them," he said. Asked how, if this is the case, they knew the bodies were indeed those of the terrorists, he said: "The security forces that brought the bodies told us that those were the bodies of the terrorists," he said, adding there was no other way they could have identified the bodies.

An intelligence agency source added: "One of the terrorists was shot through either eye."

A senior National Security Guard officer, who had earlier explained the operation in detail to, said the commandos went all out after they ascertained that there were no more hostages left. When asked if the commandos attempted to capture them alive at that stage, he replied: "Unko bachana kaun chahega (Who will want to save them)?"

The Mirror reports:

The only terrorist to be captured alive in the Mumbai massacre has revealed how he was ordered to: “Kill until your last breath.”

Azam Amir Kasav – dubbed the Smiling Assassin after his grinning face was flashed around the world as he gunned down commuters at Mumbai’s CST railway station – said he and his fellow terrorists were told by their commanders to carry on firing until they themselves were dead.

Nine of the 10 men who set sail from Pakistan on Wednesday did just that – but Kasav survived with bullet wounds.

Yesterday it emerged he cracked in hospital when he saw the mutilated body of another terrorist being wheeled towards the morgue and begged: “I do not want to die. Put me on saline.”

Under interrogation Kasav, who speaks fluent English, made a series of dramatic confessions to Indian police.

He revealed terrorist planners had visited Mumbai a month ago to take photos and film the spots they wanted to hit, including the Taj Mahal Palace hotel where it is now suspected two “sleeper” terrorists were working as a chef and waiter.

He also revealed that his Pakistani gang had slit the throat of a coastguard before sailing into Mumbai to launch their killing spree.

Once holed up inside the Taj they texted their fanatic pals to brag they were eating curry while slaughtering guests.

News of the confession came as the first pictures emerged from inside the luxurious hotel where the bloody three-day siege ended yesterday.

Indian police will use the evidence of 21-year-old Kasav, from Gipal Pura in Pakistan, to help track the brains behind the plot which is now feared to have claimed more than 300 people.

Kasav was captured alive after fleeing Mumbai’s railway station in a stolen Skoda on Thursday evening. As he sped off he was involved in a gun battle with a police officer. Kasav took two bullets, the officer was killed.

The young killer had pretended he was also dead, but as his body was taken to hospital police saw him move and anti-terror officers pounced.

Kasav eventually told detectives that he was among a group of 10 who left Karachi in Pakistan on one boat for the 500-mile journey to Mumbai.

Six miles from Mumbai they overpowered a fishing vessel called Kuber, hoping to use the local boat to pass through a checkpoint. But the plan failed when a coastguard cutter approached them.

When the cutter was alongside they struck and one of the coastguard had his throat slit while the other was made to navigate the men onwards to Mumbai.

Four miles out, they dumped the vessel before switching to dinghies to enter India. Each man had an AK47 machine gun, 50-bullet magazines and eight hand grenades.

Kasav told police their aim had been to create another 9/11: “The Taj was to be reduced to rubble – and we had the ammunition to do it,” he said.

Last night more details began to emerge of the horror inside the Taj and the Oberoi Trident hotels during the siege.

Terrorists had ordered the chefs to cook them chicken and lamb curry, which they feasted on while picking out hostages to kill. Groups of terrified guests were tied and bound with bed sheets, marched into rooms and ordered to urinate on one another.

Before people were shot they had their wallets emptied and were stripped of all their jewellery.

According to survivor reports, the gang had whooped with joy as news broke that intelligence chief Hemant Karkare and other policemen had been killed outside.

A police source told the Sunday Mirror: “The ballroom was the control room used by the attackers. They packed it with satellite phones, mobile phones, computers and TVs. We are going through all the information now to see what we can find.”

The Indian Army finally brought the siege at the Taj to an end yesterday when hundreds of soldiers stormed the building just after 7am, killing the remaining three terrorists.

Now the grim task of calculating the final death toll in the city will begin. The current estimate is 195 but many officials expect it to reach over 300.

Lines of ambulances queued outside the Taj ready to move the 100 or more dead bodies which are still inside.

A fireman battling the blaze inside the 530-room Taj said: “There are bodies everywhere, I have never seen anything so bad. We have to work around all the bodies to put the fires out.”

Thousands of Indians arrived at the gates of the hotel and spontaneous applause broke out when exhausted-looking soldiers walked out of the building at the end of the siege. Some people wandered around quietly clutching images of friends feared dead in the attack. But others cheered as they celebrated an end to the terror.

The British Embassy in Mumbai said about 40 Britons caught in the attacks flew home yesterday.

Millionaire British businessman Andreas Liveras, 72, was shot dead during the atrocities and another 16 Britons were injured.

Seven are still in hospital, at least two with serious injuries. At least 22 foreigners are known to have died, including victims from Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, Italy, Singapore, Thailand and France.

A spokesman for the British Embassy said: “We believe all the British victims have now been accounted for.”

He said the embassy did not believe any of the terrorists are from the UK, ending speculation of a British link to the attacks.
Comment: the corporate media likes to sensationalize, in particular any "patriotic" media, that is a given, but these reports are important not only because they could be true, but also because even if they are exaggerated or fabricated (and I am *not* saying that they are!), this is what the Indian public is reading and one can easily imagine the outrage felt by every reader.

While I have no way of knowing how accurate these reports are, I will say this: everything described here is full consistent with kind of vicious atrocities Wahabis elsewhere have committed many times (including in Chechnya, Afghanistan or Bosnia). Slitting throats and torturing before executing is something we should expect from Wahabi crazies, be it in India or elsewhere.