David Cameron has issued the following statement:

“I utterly condemn the attacks that have taken place in Mumbai, and the terrible loss of life that has occurred. My thoughts are with all those who have been caught up in these attacks. India and Britain stand together at this time in the face of terrorism.”

9.15pm update

The Times has a report here.

9pm update:

I’ve just had a text from Syed saying that he is OK but that his understanding from the ground is that 80 people are dead, 200 people are injured and that some tourists have been taken hostage. He gathers that more than 20 terrorists have been involved and says that there’s a "long night ahead". Indeed so. We’re all thinking of you, Saj and all the other victims of these atrocities, the horror of which is becoming more apparent by the minute.

8.45pm update:

Syed has been quoted by the Daily Star website as having said that he managed to escape from the hotel as the gunmen arrived.

"I was staying at the Taj Mahal with a party of MEPs from the international trade committee on a fact-finding mission. I had just left the hotel when the gunmen arrived and now they’ve closed off the hotel and we have been told not to go back. As far as I know the Taj Mahal Palace, the Oberoi Hotel and the Leopold restaurant have been attacked. One
of my friends said he walked past the gunmen as they arrived, one just
looked at him then turned round and shot someone else. He’s in shock. We have been texting people trapped inside the hotel to see if they are okay. One German MEP Erica Mann is hiding in the kitchen and I think British MEP Sajjad Karim is still in the hotel. "

8.30pm update:

News has reached me that a second Conservative MEP
is in Mumbai and at the Taj Place Hotel, near to the scene of one of the terrorist attacks.

Syed Kamall, a London MEP, is another member of the 9- or 10-strong
delegation from the international trade committee, which is currently
staying there during  fact-finding visit.

He has been in touch with one of his colleagues who has passed on the news that as far as we know he too is not injured.

It is being suggested, however, that one of the assistants to the delegation has been injured.

Picture_10Sajjad Karim, the Conservative MEP for North West England who defected from the Liberal Democrats a year ago today has found himself embroiled in a siege in a hotel in Mumbai.

He has just appeared on Sky News, giving an eyewitness account of events, which have reportedly seen two people shot dead by gunmen and many others injured.

Mr Karim is not understood to have been injured.

Later reports on Indian TV suggested there have been a series of
terrorist attacks on a number of locations, with estimates of the
number of dead now varying from 10 to 25.

Jonathan Isaby

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