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Terror-struck foreigners just want to go home

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | November 27, 2008 16:19 IST

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Many of the foreigners injured or who witnessed Wednesday's terrorist attack in Mumbai are leaving India in a hurry and seem in no mood to come back to the country soon.

"It was a bad dream. I just want to go home," said a foreign national as he came out of the Bombay Hospital.

He refused to give his name or nationality but said that he just wants to go home. "I don't want to talk about it," said his friend, who also refused to be named.

People from different countries like Spain, Australia [Images], Great Britain, Japan [Images] and Jordan were among those admitted to the hospital.

"There are 20 foreign nationals admitted in the hospital and another 40 injured are Indians," said Sanjay Sawant of the Bombay Hospital Employees Union.

"The respective high commissions and consulate people are coming and meeting their people and giving them all kind of help. As far as I know only one Japanese man died in this hospital," he added.

British High Commissioner Richard Stag and members of his staff also visited the hospital. "Some of the British people want to take a flight back home tonight. We are helping them," Stag told reporters outside the hospital.

"No British citizen has died and to my knowledge, seven Britishers have been injured," he said.

Rijad Mehad, an official of Jordanian Airlines who was present at the Oberoi Hotel said he was rushing back home.

"Three people came into the hotel and started shooting indiscriminately in the lobby. I was taken aback and had no idea what to do and why they were firing. I just ducked but I injured my head in the melee. I saw eight people dying in front of me," said Mehad.

Asked if he saw any of the terrorists, he said, "I could not see them because they were firing indiscriminately and at that time nothing strikes you but the fact that you have to duck and lie on ground to save your life."

Veronica Murphy, a British citizen, said, "I was lucky as I was only 100 metres away from the firing incident at Leopold Cafe [Images] in Colaba last night. I was on the periphery and I must tell you that Indians were very protective towards me and they ensured that we don't get hurt in any way."

Asked will she leave India, Murphy said, "No way. I am taking a train to south India tomorrow and I am not scared. Terrorism [Images] is everywhere in the world and even England [Images] was affected by that. You cannot allow these terrorists to rule and ruin your life. I will not allow that to happen."

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