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European parliament member fled Taj, whereabouts unknown

November 27, 2008 04:00 IST

Conservative member of the European parliament Sajjad Karim, who was one of two MEPs caught up in the terror attacks in Mumbai, reportedly escaped from the Taj Hotel but his whereabouts are not known.

The other MEP involved in the attacks was Erika Mann, a German Socialist.

Karim and Mann were part of a European parliamentarians' delegation from the trade committee.

They were staying in the Mumbai hotel for meetings ahead of an European Union/India summit.

Karim, 38, spoke to Sky News of his ordeal and attempts to hide from the assassins in the basement of the hotel until his mobile phone battery ran out.

Mann, 57, was reportedly hiding in the hotel's kitchens from where she told a concerned colleague who called her: 'It is too dangerous to talk.'

Speaking to Sky News over phone, Karim said he and others had fled from machine-gun fire and had no idea why the hotel was targeted.

"I was in the lobby when gunmen came in and people started running.

There were about 25 or 30 of us. A gunman  stood just there, right next to me, spraying bullets around.

"I managed to run into the hotel kitchen and then we were shunted into a restaurant in the basement. We were in the dark now as we had barricaded all the doors. It was really bad."

"There was a lot of commotion in the main lobby, and then another gunman came right in front of us and started shooting. I saw a number of people go down, but I was fortunate enough to get away",  Karim told the television channel.

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