November 26, 2008

Discussion in 'International Current News & Events' started by NaeKid, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Terrorists ask for negotiations; Canadians among hostages

    Canwest News Service and Reuters - Jas Johal
    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    MUMBAI - Two of four Canadians travelling in India with a U.S.-based meditation group were among the victims shot by terrorists in Mumbai as explosions continued to rock the embattled city Thursday.

    Indian officials also confirmed Thursday that several Canadians are among the hostages still being held by the terrorists.

    Bobbie Garvey, vice-president of the Synchronicity Foundation, said a group of Canadians, Americans and others were injured while on a meditation retreat when the violence broke out on Wednesday.

    "They went with our spiritual director on a pilgrimage to India, and wound up in the middle of this terrorist attack," said Garvey from his organization's base in Faber, Va.

    Michael Rudder, of Montreal, was shot three times while in the restaurant area of Mumbai's Oberoi Hotel amid the violence that left more than 100 people dead and hundreds more injured on Wednesday.

    "He's had surgery and he's doing well," Garvey said Thursday morning. "He's stable - not enough to fly home yet - but he's stable."

    Helen Connolly, a Toronto-based yoga instructor, was also grazed by a bullet in the attack, but Garvey said she was quickly released from hospital and is doing well.

    "Helen took a blushing by a bullet, so she was sent to hospital, but she's fine," Garvey said. "She's staying with one of our host Indian families."

    Rudder and Connolly, along with Larry and Bernie Koftinoff, a married couple from B.C., were among 25 people involved in a meditation retreat in India. The Koftinoffs were not injured in the attacks.

    Garvey said the group, which arrived in India Nov. 14 and was scheduled to return next Monday, is still missing two of its members, both American.

    Also on Thursday, witnesses reported that an explosion shook the Jewish centre of the city, igniting a fire in the Taj Hotel, the site of an earlier bloody battle.

    Officials said five terrorists were still holed up and fighting with commandos, indicating the siege is far from over. At least three terrorists have also laid siege to another luxury hotel, the Oberoi, launching their audacious attack after arriving in Mumbai by boat on Wednesday.

    The gunmen had fanned out in the heart of the city, firing indiscriminately and attacking luxury hotels, a landmark cafe, hospitals and a railway station.

    By early Thursday, 10 hostages either escaped or were released from the Taj Hotel, but Indian officials could not confirm how many remained in captivity. They would only say that the numbers could range from 40 to 100.

    The terrorists also called an Indian television channel to offer to talk with the government in exchange for the release of hostages.

    "Ask the government to talk to us and we will release the hostages," the man, identified by the India TV channel as Imran, said. He was speaking in Urdu with what sounded like a Kashmiri accent.

    Meanwhile in Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that "Canada condemns in the strongest terms the despicable and cowardly attacks in Mumbai, India."

    "The government of Canada is working closely with Indian authorities to find and assist any Canadians and their families who might be affected by these attacks," Harper said in a statement released Thursday. "Our consular staff in Ottawa and on the ground in Mumbai are working tirelessly to this end."

    The Department of Foreign Affairs also issued a travel warning for Mumbai, India Thursday, saying Canadians should avoid non-essential travel.

    One Canadian woman who witnessed the carnage described the scene.

    "We heard gunfire and we heard grenades and there was a lot of panic," Manuela Testolini told CNN. "People running, people getting trampled . . . There's a lot of waiting. People are hiding in parking structures. I'm in a place now where I feel safe."

    Testolini, the ex-wife of rock icon Prince, was in Mumbai on business. She is the founder of A Perfect World, a children's foundation.

    The attacks clearly targeted Westerners. Dr. Vinod Jaiswal, at the Sir J.J. Hospital in Mumbai, said in a telephone interview with Canwest News Service that the bodies of five foreigners were taken to the hospital and authorities were in the process of identifying them. Similar situations prevailed at another city hospital.

    Meantime, one family in Surrey, B.C., was dealing with news of the death of a 21-year-old niece. Satinder Bhui said her niece, Jasmine Bhurji, was working at the Oberoi Hotel, training to be a manager when she was killed in the attack.

    "We have lost something very dear to us," Bhui said Thursday in a telephone interview from Surrey. "She was like a daughter to me . . . She grew up in my arms."

    Bhui described her niece as "full of life. A very happy-go-lucky kind of a person. She made us laugh . . . she was very excited about her job. Very hardworking."

    Bhui said she had exchanged e-mail messages with her niece just two days ago.

    "We called home as soon as we saw the news of the attacks on TV. And we found out that she was no more," she said. "My brother is there and he is bringing the body home to Chandigarh," a city in the north of India.

    A previously little-known organization calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen has sent an e-mail to news organizations claiming responsibility for the attacks.

    "Release all the mujahedeen, and Muslims living in India should not be troubled," said a militant inside the Oberoi, speaking to Indian television by telephone.

    India has suffered a wave of attacks in recent years in which low-intensity bombs were placed in highly crowded markets. More than 100 people have been killed in India in the past four months alone.

    Most of the attacks have been blamed on Islamist militants, although police have also arrested suspected Hindu extremists thought to be behind some of the violence.

    Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is a major metropolitan centre on the west coast of India near the Arabian Sea.

    Global National and Reuters with files from Becky Rynor, Bradley Bouzane and Jorge Barrera at Canwest News Service
  2. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    I went to a memorial service in Seattle last night, for those who died in the Chabad house in Mumbai, about ten people I believe. The young Rabbi and his wife ( 29 and 28 years old) were tortured and then murdered brutally, amazingly their little son was found by his Indian nanny covered in his mothers blood. She grabbed him and escaped. They are going to Israel with the bodies for burial and the nanny will take care of the child for a season.
    The grandparents will then take care of him permanently. Right now he won't let anyone hold him except his nanny. The little man just had his second birthday yesterday.

    Please remember this little man, he is alive for a reason eh?

  3. JennieV.

    JennieV. Guest

    Jeez, that is horrible to hear. Poor baby boy, covered in his mother's blood and left with no parents. That is wonderful that the nanny found him though. I wish him the best in life! It's gonna be a tough one.

    I shall keep him in my thoughts and prayers. I hope everyone else does the same.
  4. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    I know it'll never happen, but we need to get them... every last one of them!

    I completely changed on September 11th, 2001. Unfortunately, my son lost his father and my wife lost her husband, as they knew him. I don't think they'll ever have me back to the way I was. Of the almost 6 years I've been a part of the War on Terror, I've been home only half that time and mostly because of the birth of my other children. It's a crappy way to live as a husband and a father, but if it helps in the effort to let them sleep peacefully at night, worry-free, then it's a small price to pay. As of right now, morale over here is down. Military re-enlistments are down. Several troops are getting stop-loss. If it wasn't for the 200,000 civilian contractors in Theatre (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), then we'd definately be in draft-mode.

    It absolutely amazes me to see people opposing our efforts around the world (including our OWN COUNTRY) when incidnets like this are being played out in front of our own eyes! We (Americans in general) are so oblivious to life in the rest of the world. I remember being 15 and watching Bosnia and Croatia fall at the hands of the Serbs. I think that's when I started realizing that our role in this world is that we ARE the world's police and we NEED to "get in everyone's business." If America backed out of other nations' affairs, then I wouldn't give this world 12 months to completely turn itself inside out. By then, our threats will be too great to address. As of right now, we are putting up a good fight, fighting a conventional war against an unconventional foe. Until I hear of a better idea, this is the course I will maintain and this is the effort I will support.

    Once the majority sees what needs to be done and agrees with it, we will dominate this threat. Take for instance "We, The People" during WWII...

    During WWII, America did something thaty only America could do. It unified. Not like before and certainly not like now, but in a utopian sense. We had just about every male of age in a uniform, fighting an immediate threat. Every woman gladly stayed in the homefront, rolling up her sleeves, building/assembling the utensils needed for our men to complete their mission in a safe/effective manner. Women and elderly became the new teachers of our children. They taught that their father and brothers were serving a greater cause to ensure their safety and well-being. All our waste was divided up to use what we could to recycle for out troops' needs. Children would skip school to see who could collect the most "resources" for our military. Families went without eating the foods they wanted and went down to rationing so that everyone was sure to get something. War bonds were bought with money from the poor who really didn't have the money to spare. Posters and signs lined all the walls, supporting our cause.

    You want to know the best part? NO COMPLAINTS!!!!! No one cried about if we should be there or not. No one griped that it was taking a long time. No one complained, saying, "Why isn't Hitler's head on a platter?" No one cared about having to make personal sacrifices.

    During that time in history, there wasn't a force in the WORLD that could stand up against America. That was our peak. It will NEVER be that good again. Our greatest failure is not using our best resource (history). Imagine where we could be today. Our answers are right there. Do you think this "war on terror" would have even lasted a year?

    Who says ee can't defeat terrorism? We can do ANYTHING!!!!

    Sorry for the rant, I'll get off my soap box and await a slap on the hand from Dean for the semi-political post. ;) I just needed to let it out. More so now, as of late. Jeez. I can't wait to go home for a couple of weeks in February and pretend the rest of the world is doing OK.
  5. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    What rant, you are just speaking your heart.
    I would personally like to thank you for your service to this country.
    You men in the field are much appreciated.
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hoo Rah baby, stand and remain standing.
  6. Denny

    Denny Praying for America

    Right on, bro. Thanks!
  7. Avarice

    Avarice Guest

    Agreed, Denny, thank you...we appreciate all you guys do for us and our families!