The UK Foreign Office has issued a statement advising against all non-essential travel to Mumbai in India following the terrorist gun attacks that began late yesterday. The statement says: “For those in other parts of the city wanting advice on whether to leave, we are advising them to seek local advice from their hotels as to whether they can safely reach the airport and catch flights out of Mumbai. For those who had planned to visit Mumbai, we are advising against all non-essential travel for the time being.”
The Foreign Secretary David Miliband and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown have condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai.
The Foreign Secretary said:
‘Today’s attacks in Mumbai which have claimed many innocent victims remind us, yet again, of the threat we face from violent extremists. I condemn these attacks unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed and injured. The UK and India will continue their joint efforts to counter the actions of terrorists’.
These sentiments were echoed by Gordon Brown. He said:
‘These outrageous attacks in Mumbai will be met with a vigorous response. I have sent a message to Prime Minister Singh that the UK stands solidly with his government as they respond, and to offer all necessary help. Urgent action is underway to offer every possible protection to British citizens in the region’.
The High Commissioner in Mumbai, Sir Richard Stagg, has also commented on the attacks and given an update of the situation in the region. He said:
“We are standing shoulder to shoulder with India. We think that it is an appalling, completely unjustifiable attack, and we feel that we are both under attack from terrorism internationally and we need to work together very closely to deal with this threat.
It is an astonishingly large and horrific attack and I decided immediately that we needed to have an emergency unit set up both in Delhi and Mumbai to deal with the crisis because they attacked two hotels which are very popular with foreigners. We’ve established a base in the British Council’s office for those British citizens who have been forced to leave their hotels because of these attacks.
We have visited most of the central hospitals where those injured have been taken and have met the British victims who are in hospital at the moment.
We have said to people in Mumbai they should avoid going out and about more than they need to for the time being, and we’ve said that those planning to visit Mumbai should only do so if they have essential business to do.’