恐怖袭击令印度商业之都陷入瘫痪
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2008-11-30 10:52:56  【打印

Terrorists Paralyze India's Business Capital


2008年11月29日


India's business capital was brought to a standstill as army and police continued to fight suspected Islamic militants in the heart of the usually bustling metropolis, marking a dramatic escalation of radical Islam's war against the world's largest democracy.

The coordinated, commando-style assault on Mumbai's luxury hotels, its historic train station, a Jewish center and other targets began Wednesday night, and marked the most audacious in a string of terror attacks to shake this majority-Hindu nation in recent years.

Friday morning, local time -- more than 35 hours after the initial attacks -- Indian commandos launched an all-out push to seize the Jewish center, where gunmen still held hostages. Helicopter-borne commados were dropped into the area. Intensive exchanges of gunfire could be heard.

Elsewhere in downtown Mumbai, Indian forces appeared to have made progress in flushing terrorists from other beseiged buildings. Earlier in the day, forces swept the famed Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel and the Oberoi Trident hotel for hostages, encountering sporadic resistance. But as of Friday morning, a small number of militants still remained in parts of both hotels.

About 120 people, including Mumbai's anti-terrorism chief and several foreigners, were reported killed in the attacks; more than 300 were injured.

With gun volleys still ringing out Friday morning and a major fire blazing in the Oberoi Trident, Indian officials were just beginning to piece together their investigation. Almost immediately, several blamed traditional arch-enemy Pakistan.

While not mentioning Pakistan by name, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to 'take up strongly with our neighbors that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated.'

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani have both condemned the bloodshed in Mumbai.

The scale and sophistication of the Mumbai attacks, as well as the choice of targets, however, appeared to point to a more insidious threat that the Indian government has been reluctant to acknowledge so far -- the potential involvement of extremists within the country's own Muslim community, which, at 150 million, is the world's third-largest after Indonesia and Pakistan. It is also one of India's most economically and politically disadvantaged minorities.

In a statement that couldn't be independently authenticated, a previously unknown group, the Deccan Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the Mumbai operation, describing itself as hailing from the south Indian city of Hyderabad. Hyderabad was the world's largest Muslim-ruled monarchy until it was invaded and annexed by India in 1948.

Indian security officials cast doubt on this statement, saying that the attacks bore the hallmarks of Al Qaeda and Pakistani militant groups. They also claimed to have found a boat on which ammunition for the attacks was allegedly smuggled from Pakistan. That couldn't be confirmed.

While independent security experts said it's likely that the attackers received some support from like-minded radicals in Pakistan, they also stressed that such a massive operation would have been nearly impossible without a deep-rooted local network inside India itself.

India's Muslims, some of them still nostalgic for a medieval golden age when most of the subcontinent was under Muslim dominion, are among the country's poorest communities, partly because much of the Muslim professional class emigrated to Pakistan at partition in 1947.

In addition to being disproportionately targeted in outbreaks of religious violence, they are severely underrepresented in the country's government bureaucracy, universities and security services. On literacy scores, young Indian Muslims now lag behind even the country's historically most disadvantaged group, the Dalits, or Hinduism's 'untouchables.'

India's main stock exchange was closed on Thursday, some international flights were canceled at Mumbai's airport, and the city's central business district had the feel of a ghost town as most shops remained shuttered and occasional gunfire crackled.

'Business won't come back for one year at least,' said Vijay K. Hegiste, who owns a tobacco shop around the corner from the Taj hotel. 'No one is going to come.'

How India will respond to the attack is already shaping up as a central issue for upcoming elections in several states, and for the country's general elections due before May next year.

Addressing the country on television Thursday, Prime Minister Singh promised to prevent similar attacks in the future. He said India will create a new federal investigative agency and tighten legislation 'to ensure that there are no loopholes available to terrorists to escape the clutches of the law.'

Some in Mumbai's large Muslim community fear the attacks may stir the upcoming political campaigns, aware that such controversies can easily end up in religious clashes. 'Elections are coming around the corner -- and the politicians want the vote banks,' said garment merchant Mohammed Salim, as he watched riot police surround a building known as Nariman House in his Colaba neighborhood.

Yaroslav Trofimov / Peter Wonacott



恐怖袭击令印度商业之都陷入瘫痪




度的商业中心陷入了停顿,军队和警方同可疑的伊斯兰武装分子仍在以往熙熙攘攘的城市核心地区继续交火,这标志着针对这个全球最大的民主国家发动的伊斯兰战争出现了明显的升级。

对孟买的豪华酒店、历史悠久的火车站、犹太人中心和其它目标同时发动的突击队式的袭击从周三夜间开始,这也是近年来针对这个印度教徒为主的国家发动的一连串恐怖袭击中最胆大妄为的一起。

在最初的袭击发生35个多小时之后,当地时间周五上午,印度突击队对犹太中心发动了总攻,武装分子在这里仍扣押着人质。直升飞机将突击队员空降到这一区域。可以听到密集的交火声。

在孟买市区的其它地方,印度军方在清剿藏匿于其它建筑物内的恐怖分子方面似乎取得了进展。周五早些时候,军队对知名的泰姬陵酒店(Taj Mahal Palace & Tower)和奥比欧酒店(Oberoi Trident Hotel)进行了彻底搜查,在解救人质过程中遇到了零星的抵抗。但截至周五上午,这两个酒店中仍盘踞着少数武装分子。

据报导,包括孟买反恐司令和几名外国人在内的120多人在袭击中丧生;300多人受伤。

周五上午仍有枪声传出,奥比欧酒店的大火仍未熄灭,印度政府刚刚开始着手调查此事。矛头几乎立刻就指向了印度的宿敌巴基斯坦。

尽管没有提到巴基斯坦的名字,但印度总理辛格(Manmohan Singh)称,印度要正告邻国,利用他们的土地开展针对印度的袭击是不会被容忍的。


巴基斯坦总统扎尔达里(Asif Ali Zardari)和总理吉拉尼(Yousaf Raza Gilani)都谴责了孟买的这起流血事件。

不过,此次孟买袭击的规模和精细程度,以及选择的目标似乎显示出印度政府迄今为止一直不愿承认的更为隐密的威胁,即印度国内穆斯林社会中极端分子的可能参与。印度共有1.50亿穆斯林,在世界排名第三,仅次于印尼和巴基斯坦。他们也是印度国内经济和政治上最为弱势的少数民族。

在一份无法获得独立证实的声明中,之前鲜为人知的“德干圣战组织”(Deccan Mujahideen)声称对孟买袭击事件负责,并自称来自印度南部城市海得拉巴。海得拉巴曾是世界上最大的穆斯林王国,1948年被印度占领。

印度安全部门的官员对这份声明表示怀疑,并称袭击行动带有基地组织(Al Qaeda)和巴基斯坦军事组织的特点。他们还透露发现了一艘船,相信船上用于袭击行动的武器是从巴基斯坦走私过来的。这一点目前无法证实。

虽然独立的安全专家称,袭击者有可能从有相同想法的巴基斯坦激进分子那里获得了支持。但他们也强调,如此大规模的行动基本不可能没有根基很深的印度当地组织的参与。

在印度,一部分穆斯林还在 念中世纪印度次大陆完全由穆斯林统治的黄金时代。目前穆斯林在印度处于最贫困的阶层,部分原因是1947年印巴分治时大部分专业阶层的穆斯林都移居到了巴基斯坦。

印度的穆斯林在宗教暴力冲突中经常成为袭击对象,他们在政府部门、大学和安全部门的就职机会严重偏少。在文化程度方面,印度穆斯林甚至还不如该国一直以来最落后的达利人,这是印度教里视为“不可接触者”的一个种姓。

印度主要的证券交易所在周四休市,孟买机场的一些国际航班被取消,市中心商务区一片死寂,大部分商店都关门歇业,偶尔能听到几声枪响。

在泰姬陵酒店旁的街角上经营香烟店的Vijay K. Hegiste说,估计生意至少要一年才能恢复正常。没有人会来这里。

印度有好几个邦即将举行选举,明年5月还要举行全国大选。如何应对此次袭击已成为选举的中心话题。

印度总理辛格周四在电视上讲话,他承诺要防止类似袭击再次发生。他表示,印度将成立一个新的联邦调查机构并加强立法,以“确保不会给恐怖分子留下逃过法律制裁的漏洞”。

孟买一些大型穆斯林团体担心这次袭击可能会扰乱即将到来的政治活动,他们担心这方面的争论很容易演变成宗教冲突。在Colaba区,服装商人穆罕默德•萨林(Mohammed Salim)一边看着包围他附近的Nariman House大楼的防暴警察一边说,很快就要选举了,而政治家们都想争取到大量支持者。

Yaroslav Trofimov / Peter Wonacott


文章来源:大耳朵英语--免费实用 http://www.bigear.cn