Expatica news

Spanish businessman in Mumbai released

27 November 2008

MADRID – Indian security forces Thursday released one of three Spanish businessmen who had been held by terrorists at the Hotel Trident in Mumbai, India, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said.

The two other entrepreneurs were still in the hotel, their company representatives said.

The businessmen belonged to the delegation of Madrid regional Prime Minister Esperanza Aguirre, who was visiting India to promote Spanish business interests when shooting and explosions broke out on Wednesday

According to press reports, Aguirre and others hid behind a desk and threw themselves to the ground while bullets were flying by in the hotel lobby.

Aguirre, one of the top leaders of the opposition conservative People’s Party (PP) had returned to Spain on Thursday.

At least 100 people were killed and 300 wounded in the attacks which shocked the world. A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen said it is responsible for the assaults.

While Indian army commandos battled gunmen who launched the coordinated attacks on luxury hotels and other targets in India’s financial hub, European governments were reportedly making plans to evacuate their nationals.

An Australian, a Britain, an Italian, a German, and a Japanese businessman were among foreigners confirmed dead – while Americans, Israelis, Canadians, Spaniards and a Jewish rabbi were said to be among those still held hostage.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government has established a crisis team to prepare the evacuation of some 50 Spaniards from the Mumbai region. Ten other members of Aguirre’s delegation waiting at the Spanish consulate have been picked up a Spanish air force plane.

Two other Spaniards were slightly injured in the attacks that killed more than 100 people on Wednesday.

[dpa / AFP / Expatica]