Stranded Australian officials said to be safe in terror-hit Mumbai

November 27th, 2008 - 12:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney/Mumbai, Nov.27 (ANI): Six members of the New South Wales (NSW) Department of State and Regional Development remain unaccounted for in Mumbai, where terrorists struck late on Wednesday, killing over a hundred people and injuring over 200.
The Daily Telegraph quoted NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas as saying that the situation regarding the held up Australians “remains fluid” but was sure that half of the delegation of 13 that arrived in Mumbai on Sunday was safe.
“There are about half a dozen we have not been able to get in touch with,” he said.
The Acting Commissioner said it was difficult to say whether the ones unaccounted for were safe.
However, NSW Premier Nathan Rees said they did not believe any Australians had been taken hostage during the attacks.
While there was up to 15 originally in the delegation, it appears up to three did not make it to Mumbai, leaving 12 - plus the official - in the city during the attack.
It is believed most, if not all, were staying at the Trident Hotel.
“It’’s difficult to say who was where at the time. The situation remains highly volatile and remains fraught,” Rees was quoted, as saying.
Concerns have also emerged that some of those in the delegation could have had family members with them on the trip.
Meanwhile, an Australian terror expert Clive Williams has said that the group Deccan Mujahedeen - which has claimed responsibiliy for the attacks that have killed at least 87 people - is a localised element of Indian Mujarhadeen.
Williams said the new terror group was likely to be a combination of young people from different terror groups.
“Its an extreme group of mainly younger people, who are hot-headed, and not endorsed by leadership,” he said. (ANI)

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