Mumbai, Nov.27 : The gunmen who killed over 80 people in Mumbai on Wednesday night are said to have ordered hotel guests: "Put your hand up if you're British or American."
According to The Sun, frightened hostages were marched off to undisclosed locations within the hotel, their fate unclear. eports said they were up to 40 British and other foreigners.
The Trident and Taj Mahal Palace hotels were among at least seven locations attacked simultaneously by wild-eyed terrorists carrying machine guns and grenades.
At the Oberoi, Britisher Alex Chamberlain - who works for the Indian Premier League cricket website - told how he managed to slip away as up to 40 guests were herded up 18 flights of stairs at gunpoint.
He said: "They (the terrorists) told everybody to put their hands up if there were any British or Americans.
"My friend said to me, don't be a hero, don't say you are British. I am sure that is what this is all about. They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy. They said, 'Where are you from?'. He said he was from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone.
"I thought, 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything - and thank God they didn't."
Fellow Brit Rakesh Patel confirmed: "They wanted anyone with British or American passports."
At the Taj Mahal Palace, British Euro MP Sajjad Karim told how he fled as gunmen burst in.
Holed up in its basement with other survivors, the Tory MP's voice shook with fear as he said via mobile phone: "A gunman just stood there spraying bullets around, right next to me.
"I managed to turn away and I ran into the hotel kitchen and then we were shunted into a restaurant in the basement. We are now in the dark in this room and we've barricaded all the doors. It's really bad."
He told of seeing "several people go down" as the gunmen opened up.
A guest at a wedding reception said: "Everyone - the bride, the groom, everyone - just ran."
One hotel guest said a stairway was full of bodies.
Amid the mayhem, police and paramedics used anything they could lay their hands on to transport the injured.
Some were wheeled to safety on the hotel's golden luggage carts.
Screaming people were seen hanging out of windows of lower floors as firefighters tried to reach them with ladders and cherry-pickers.
The hotel was used by the England cricket team just two weeks ago - and they were due to stay there again for next month's Second Test.
Last night there were fears the Test may be called off.
Plans by Middlesex County Cricket Club to fly out today for the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League were scrapped.
The bloodbaths began at 10.33 p.m. local time.
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