Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bombings in India (Refresh for updates) 

[Update: Thoughts] The death toll continues to rise, and as the numbers come in I think most people realize the scope and importance of this attack. Islamic terror is a global phenomenon, and no matter how much many on the left would like to pretend otherwise, President Bush and the Iraq war didn't invent it, and running out of Iraq and Afghanistan like we did Mogadishu won't solve anything. In fact, India doesn't even have troops in Iraq, a situation that we had recently been trying to change, and I now imagine will change rather easily. India is an important ally, and how they respond to this attack will speak volumes about their commitment to both defeating terror, and burgeoning conflicts in the region that may soon reqire their attention. This is only the latest tragic strike in a struggle against an ideologu so polarly opposite from our own that we must eradicate it completely or face our own demise at the hands exploding trains and hijacked airliners. It is tragic that events like this take place, and I hope that, if anything, it will remind Indians and Americans alike of the stakes of our present endeavor, and the further strengthen our resolve to see out this fight.

Elsewhere, I wonder if I'm the only one who gets the sick joke: the date is 7/11... and the bombings are in India. While a distinctly American connection, I wonder if it was intentional, or if the date simply reflects a fascination with the 11th. Go figure, Joe Biden. If it didn't hurt before, it sure will now.

[Update 1:33 CST] FoxNews reports the new death toll at 147, and says that Indian authorities are seeking the "terrorists" responsible. No surprise there, but I am intrigued by the TV report that they have a suspect in custody.

[Update 1:20 CST] Things seemed to have calmed down a bit, and updates will come only as relevant information becomes available. Casualty numbers have converged around 135 dead, 250+ wounded, which appears to be on the low end of the possible, given how clogged the train system is. As to who is responsible, there are no claims yet
"But suspicion was likely to center on Muslim militants fighting New Delhi's rule in disputed Kashmir, who have been blamed for several bomb attacks in India in the past. " (From Reuters)

[Update 11:13 CST] CNN has Video

[Update 11:10 CST] SkyNews has reported that more than 130 are dead, and they have some pictures up as well. Updates will be spotty until around 1:00 PM CST, due to meetings. Check back for continued updates.

[Update 10:44 CST] FoxNews reports Indian authorities had warning of an attack: "The Indian home minister said on Indian television that authorities had information of an attack but did not know when or where it was to occur...Police were also reportedly carrying out raids across the country following the explosions, presumably in search of suspects."

[Update 10:40 CST] Some thoughts: How will this effect the fragile, but recently calm, India/Pakistan relations? Undoubtedly it will strain relations, but it remains to be seen where the blame lies for the attacks. A Pakistan connection could spark a regional conflagration. Also, will this compel India, previously not a factor, to apply pressure to North Korea, Russia and/or China, responding to new found security concerns? While seemingly unrelated, it doesn't seem out of the question, given India's proximity.

[Update 10:25 CST]The attacks came shortly after the confirmed Kashmir Jihadi attacks in Sringar... they are assumed to be correlated, but no solid information yet... from the amount of damage done to the rail cars, the explosives would have to have been high powered, not the dinky work of a spontaneous amateur attack...this appears to have been carefully planned and executed, especially in light of the earlier attack and the simultaneous nature of the attacks... Indias's transportation grid is a mess anyway, and roads/trains etc. are jammed all over according to the new blog http://mumbaihelp.blogspot.com/... more to come, and please comment any relevant links or information...

[Update 10:00 CST] Horrific... Reuters is reporting over 100 dead (number is 104 as confirmed so far by police), and they have a few unlinkable pictures of the torn trains...

[Update 9:40 CST] Pajamas Media is reporting that CNN has upped the death toll to 40. Meanwhile FoxNews finally has a full story up, but they are lagging apparently. They still quote local news numbers, with 15 dead and 70+ wounded. Still no news on Al-Qaeda/ Kashmiri influence...

[Update 9:36 CST] Reuters is now saying over 30 dead, but the toll is unknown and is sure to rise

[Update 9:25 CST]From the WAPO: "India's CNN-IBN television news, which had a reporter traveling on the train, said the blast took place in a first-class car as the train was moving, ripping through the compartment and killing more than a dozen people...Another CNN-IBN reporter said he had seen more than 20 bodies at one Bombay hospital."

There are reports of bodies sprawled on tracks, and scores of walking wounded (still no pictures beyond screen captures)

[Update 9:15 CST] The only pictures so far are from CNN, and they're bad screen captures from Inian TV. See Below:

[Update 9:10 CST] Nobody seems to be sure exactly how many explosions
have taken place: AP reports 7, CNN is saying 6 and Reuters has at least 4

[Update 8:57 CST] Reuters has a map of the site, and some quotes, but no pictures yet... still no word on responsibility, cause, etc.

[Update] Fox News has some information up,

CNN is reporting 6 explosions at train stations in Mumbai... I believe there were reports some time ago that India had recieved threats... stay tuned for updates[Update 9:15 CST] The only pictures so far are from CNN, and they're bad screen captures from Inian TV. See Below:

I wonder if this was a group with an anti-american wing (with Al Qaeda connections?) as well, or if it was a more domestic, festering sort of group from India?
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