MUMBAI (Reuters) - At least 10 people were killed and 26 wounded in a series of shootings around India’s financial capital Mumbai on Wednesday night, with two five-star hotels among the targets in what police called a terror attack.
Maharahstra state police chief A.N. Roy said attackers had fired automatic weapons indiscriminately, and used grenades, adding that they were still holed up in some buildings.
“These are terrorist strikes in at least seven places,” he told the NDTV news channel.
“Unknown terrorists have gone with automatic weapons and opened fire indiscriminately. At a few places they even used grenades.
Police said targets included the luxury Taj and Oberoi hotels, with television stations showing the lobby of both hotels on fire and people being evacuated from the Oberoi with their hands on their heads.
“The lobby of the Taj hotel is on fire,” a police spokesman said. “We are trying to find out how many people are inside the hotel.”
Some of the injured were evacuated from the Taj on the hotel’s golden luggage carts, while waiters in black and white formal wear and chefs were seen leaving the Oberoi.
Television stations also reported shooting outside the Cafe Leopold, a popular restaurant for tourists in the city, and at hospitals and railway stations.
A Reuters reporter heard two explosions and then short bursts of automatic gunfire in the same street as the restaurant.
The wreckage of a red scooter, the remains of shop awnings and broken glass were strewn across the street.
Armed police, rifles cocked at the hip, set up barricades around the explosion site, and local people were seen yelling at each other, angry that another terror attack had hit the city.
Vehicles and street vendors’ barrows were used to keep locals away, and speeding military four-wheel drives with horns blaring arrived at the bomb site.
There were other attacks elsewhere.
“They entered the passenger hub of a station and started firing,” A.K. Sharma, a Mumbai police government railway police commissioner told local television.
Sameeran Chakraborty, a Mumbai resident, told the NDTV news channel he heard a blast inside a car near the city airport.
“It was a big noise and one car was involved, definitely not more than that.”
India has suffered a wave of bomb attacks in recent years. Most have been blamed on Islamist militants, although police have also arrested suspected Hindu extremists thought to be behind some of the attacks.
Reporting by New Delhi and Mumbai bureaus; Writing by Simon Denyer; Editing by Alistair Scrutton