Clinton hails courage of hotel staff in face of terrorism
Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on Saturday "deeply touched" to meet the staff of two luxury hotels here that were targeted by 10 heavily armed Pakistani terrorists last November and expressed her gratitude to the "great men and women" who helped save lives during the assault that lasted over 60 hours.india Updated: Jul 18, 2009 13:47 IST
Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on Saturday "deeply touched" to meet the staff of two luxury hotels here that were targeted by 10 heavily armed Pakistani terrorists last November and expressed her gratitude to the "great men and women" who helped save lives during the assault that lasted over 60 hours.
"I was deeply touched to meet the staff of the Taj and Oberoi hotels on Saturday morning," Clinton said at a press conference at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel after attending a function in the memory of the victims of the assault that left over 170 people dead. Twenty-six foreigners, including six Americans, were among those killed.
Clinton, who arrived in Mumbai on Friday night on her first visit to India after assuming office, met the survivors and family members of those who died in the Taj hotel. She also met the hotel's general manager Karimbir Kang, whose wife and two children were killed in the assault, as also 12 employees who survived the attack.
"This hotel and this city suffered grievously and endured pain because of the extremists and violence. The great men and women who worked in this hotel courageously stood in times of violence, helped save lives. They deserve our gratitude," said Clinton.
Dressed in a bright red business suit, Clinton was escorted by Kang around the century-old heritage hotel, parts of which were set ablaze by the terrorists during the Nov 26-29, 2008 attack. She was also seen sharing a light moment with Hemant Oberoi, the executive chef the hotel.
After paying her respects to the victims of the attack, Clinton signed the remembrance book at the hotel, noting: "Americans share a solidarity with this city and nation. Both our peoples have experienced the senseless and searing effects of violent extremism. And both can be grateful and proud of the heroism of brave men and women whose courage saved lives and prevented greater harm on 26/11 and 9/11.
"Now, it is up to all nations and people who seek peace and progress to work together. Let us rid the world of hatred and extremism that produces such nihilistic violence. Our future deserves no less."
Clinton arrived in Mumbai hours after two synchronised bombs ripped through two hotels in Indonesian capital Jakarta, killing nine people.
"The bombing in Indonesia is the painful reminder that the threat of violent terrorism is real. It is global. It is nihilistic and it must stop. We need to work to seek peace and security to confront and defeat these violent extremists," Clinton said at her press conference.