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The attacks killed three Germans, one Japanese, two Canadians and a Briton, chief minister Deshmukh said. Two Australians died and more may have been killed, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said. Two French nationals died, President Nicolas Sarkozy said. 

37 Australians missing
THE Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said last night that he was worried about the safety of dozens of Australians missing after the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

"I'm deeply concerned for the wellbeing of our fellow Australians who we can't track down yet I fear these [death toll] numbers may rise."

Indian officials say four Australians have died and a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman said officials were "urgently seeking to confirm the safety and welfare of 37 Australians".

Two Sydney men are confirmed dead among the 143 killed in the attacks.

Seven Australians were among 93 people who walked free yesterday after being holed up in the Trident Oberoi Hotel in a 36-hour ordeal at the hands of gun-wielding terrorists.

Three IAG employees, Stephen Beatty, Mike Kelsall and Chen Ling, were among busloads of relieved guests, trapped in their rooms as terrorists occupied the hotel in southern Mumbai, who were able to leave yesterday after an operation by commandos.

The head of the national security guard, JK Dutt, said the Trident Oberoi was "under our control". A state minister, RR Patil, said there were 30 bodies in the hotel.

In an operation code-named Black Tornado, Indian authorities worked to gain control of the crisis yesterday, as commandos scoured two charred luxury hotels, searching for survivors.

The head of one commando unit said he had seen 50 bodies in the Taj Mahal hotel, including 12 to 15 in one room.

He said his troops had found plastic explosives and that the gunmen "had no remorse".

"Anybody and everybody who came in front of them they fired at," he said.

At a third location, a Jewish community centre run by the orthodox Chabad movement where remnants of the well-organised squads of attackers appeared to have dug in, commandos abseiled from a helicopter onto the roof and began an assault to retake the building shortly after 7am Mumbai time. A gun battle broke out inside the building and hundreds of shots were heard over the next few hours.

Amid indications that the sieges might be entering a final phase, fears were growing that the death toll would rise.

Smoke was still rising from one of the hotels, and people who escaped reported stepping around bodies.

Dozens of people, perhaps many more, remained trapped in the hotels, although it was uncertain whether any were being held as hostages.

Busloads of guests freed from the Trident Oberoi, including one carrying a baby, assembled at a checkpoint not far from the hotel, where some were reunited with loved ones.

Some of the guests talked on mobile phones as they walked past reporters without commenting. Others were carrying laptop bags or suitcases, but many came out only with the clothes they were wearing.

One of those brought out, Muneer Al Mahaj, said: "I am hungry and thirsty. Let me eat first. I have not seen a proper meal for the last 36 hours. I have been surviving only on biscuits Last night I ran out of water, too."

There remained much mystery around the group behind the attack. Responsibility has been claimed by a group calling themselves the Deccan Mujahideen.

The Hindu newspaper said at least three of the terrorists were members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

The Pakistani Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, condemned the attacks in a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart, telling him his country was also a victim of terrorism. The head of Pakistani military intelligence, Ahmed Shuja Pasha, will visit India to help investigations.

The move came a day after the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, said the atrocity was organised "outside the country" and warned against "neighbours" providing a haven to anti-India militants.

Two men who claimed to be among the gunmen called television stations to complain about the treatment of Muslims in India and in disputed Kashmir.

Mr Rudd said the attacks highlighted the need for vigilance. He said terrorism was "a cancer which has to be eradicated. That is why our domestic counter-terrorism laws have to remain strong."

Some of the guests talked on mobile phones as they walked past reporters without commenting. Others were carrying laptop bags or suitcases, but many came out only with the clothes they were wearing.

One of those brought out, Muneer Al Mahaj, said: "I am hungry and thirsty. Let me eat first. I have not seen a proper meal for the last 36 hours. I have been surviving only on biscuits Last night I ran out of water, too."

There remained much mystery around the group behind the attack. Responsibility has been claimed by a group calling themselves the Deccan Mujahideen."

The Hindu newspaper said at least three of the terrorists were members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

The Pakistani Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, condemned the attacks in a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart, telling him his country was also a victim of terrorism. The head of Pakistani military intelligence, Ahmed Shuja Pasha, will visit India to help investigations.

The move came a day after the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, said the atrocity was organised "outside the country" and warned against "neighbours" providing a haven to anti-India militants.

Two men who claimed to be among the gunmen called television stations to complain about the treatment of Muslims in India and in disputed Kashmir.

Mr Rudd said the attacks highlighted the need for vigilance. He said terrorism was "a cancer which has to be eradicated. That is why our domestic counter-terrorism laws have to remain strong.
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