At least 80 people were killed in a series of attacks apparently aimed at tourists in India's financial capital Mumbai on Wednesday night, with television channels saying Westerners were being held hostage at two five-star hotels.
The Press Trust of India said that as many as 250 people had been injured in the attacks, which saw heavily armed men with automatic weapons and grenades target luxury hotels in the south of the city and the main railway station.
"I guess they were after foreigners, because they were asking for British or American passports," said Rakesh Patel, a British witness who lives in Hong Kong and was staying at the Taj hotel on business. "They had bombs."
Police said targets included the luxury Taj and Oberoi hotels, with television stations showing the lobby of both hotels on fire and people being evacuated from the Oberoi with their hands on their heads.
Maharashtra state police chief A.N. Roy said attackers had fired automatic weapons indiscriminately, and used grenades, adding that they were still holed up in some buildings.
India has suffered a wave of bomb attacks in recent years. Most have been blamed on Islamist militants, although police have also arrested suspected Hindu extremists thought to be behind some of the attacks.