Thai woman shot dead by militants in Mumbai

November 29th, 2008 by admin

A Thai woman was shot dead in the hostage crisis at the Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai, according to the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Information.

The woman, who was not identified, worked as a masseuse at the hotel’s spa facility.

Earlier ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said two women – Pornthima Duangthong and Thanya Yaemim – were trapped inside the hotel.

The Thai consulate in Mumbai has extended some help to five of six Thai workers at the hotel, one chef and five masseuses. Jessada Chavalbhak, who works at the Thai consulate, said the Thai women were rescued by Indian commandos. They are now staying at the Thai consul’s resi- dence.

“All of them want to go back to Bangkok, but the Thai airports are still closed. I will help negotiate with hotel management to compensate the Thai labourers during repairs to the hotel,” said Mr Jessada.

The Trident-Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels were two of the main targets of militants “from outside the country”, according to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The raids across the city have left more than 150 people dead and it was still not over yesterday.

Commandos who stormed the Mumbai headquarters of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group found the bodies of five hostages inside, and a gunbattle raged late into last night at the luxury Taj Mahal hotel.

Gunmen attacked 10 sites across India’s financial capital starting on Wednesday night, and the dead include 22 foreigners – two of them Americans, officials said.

Early last night, Indian commandos emerged from a besieged Jewish centre with rifles raised in an apparent sign of victory after a day-long siege that saw a team rappel from helicopters and a series of explosions and fire rock the building and gaping holes were blown in the wall.

Inside, though, were five dead hostages.

A delegation from Israel’s Zaka emergency medical services unit entered the building after the raid and reported through an Indian aide that five hostages and two gunmen were dead, a Zaka spokesman in Israel said.

The spokesman had no information on the hostages’ identities or whether there were wounded inside.

Numerous local media reports, quoting top military officials, also said five hostages and two gunmen had been killed in the Jewish centre.

Late last night, at least nine gunmen had been killed, one had been arrested and as many as six were still in the Taj Mahal, said R Patil, a top official in Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is the capital.

Commandos had killed the two last gunmen inside the nearby Oberoi earlier in the day.

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