India marks the tenth anniversary today of the Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead and hundreds injured.
On November 26, 2008 terrorists from Pakistan unleashed a wave of violence across Mumbai that lasted three days and played out on news channels around the world.
They struck several targets in a series of co-ordinated attacks, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Leopold Cafe- a popular restaurant among tourists and Nariman House- a Jewish cultural and religious centre.
The ten attackers — who were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades — belonged to Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The attacks masterminded by Hafiz Saeed and executed by his terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and their Pakistan-based backers did not succeed in breaking the spirit of Mumbai and the people of India. The country in fact emerged stronger and took several policy decisions that would go on to strengthen its anti-terrorism framework. One of the immediate decisions the government took after the attacks was to spread out the NSG commandos to some big cities in what came to be known as “NSG hubs” for faster response to terror attacks.
Here is a brief timeline of the attacks that took place in Mumbai in November 2008, which is also remembered as the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
The Timeline Of The 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks:
November 23, 2008
The 10 heavily armed terrorists leave Karachi, the port city in Pakistan, by boat. As they were nearing the Indian coastline, they hijack a fishing dinghy and kill four of the five-men crew. The terrorists then force the last boatman to take them to the Mumbai coast.
November 26, 2008
The terrorists kill the boatman as their vessel reaches some 7 km from the Mumbai coastline.
The terrorists switch to three inflatable speedboats and leave the fishing boat. Six of them sail quietly to a settlement of fishermen at Macchimar Nagar in Mumbai’s Cuffe Parade neighbourhood. They disembark and break into smaller groups. The rest keep sailing.
The remaining terrorists emerge at Badhwar Park, split up and head two different ways.
The first group of terrorists enter Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus ‘CST’ railway station and fire the first shots. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan fire indiscriminately into crowds. It is here that they are pictured in their most commonly seen photograph as “backpackers with assault rifles”. The attack lasts about 90 minutes. Some 58 people are killed and more than 100 are injured.
The terrorists blow up a gas station near the second site, the Nariman House business and residential complex housing the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach centre, to divert attention. This draws people to the windows, where the terrorists fire upon them. After killing a Kosher food inspector, they took the rabbi, his wife and five Israelis hostage and subsequently killed them. The two-year-old child of the couple survived.
The third site, Leopold Cafe, is attacked. Four terrorists enter the posh restaurant frequented by locals and foreigners, before opening fire on the crowd. About 10 people are killed in the attack which lasts 10 to 15 minutes. The terrorists also plant bombs in two taxis that kill 5 people and injure 15. The terrorists then proceed to the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel.
Two terrorists Shoib and Umer, who attacked the Leopold Cafe, enter the grounds of the Taj Mahal hotel by breaking down a side door. They first attack guests around the swimming pool and then move inside to the bars and restaurants of the hotel. Two other terrorists Abdul Rehman Bada and Abu Ali enter the hotel through the front entrance and start to shoot and throw grenades. A small team of the Indian Navy’s marine commandos Marcos enter the hotel and fight the terrorists.
The last site, Oberoi-Trident Hotel, is attacked. Two terrorists enter the hotel via the restaurant and immediately begin firing into the crowd. They later move throughout the hotel looking for targets.
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan, who struck CST first, arrive at the back gate to the Cama Hospital. The hospital staff, alerted to their approach, lock all of the patients’ rooms. They leave the hospital and ambush a group of police officers, killing six of them including chief of the city’s Anti-Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkare. They hijack a police vehicle before being intercepted by a team from the Gamdevi police station. Khan is killed and Kasab is arrested.
November 27 (Thursday)
5:30 pm: A batch of 20 commandos were sent who tried to enter the building from the ground floor. The terrorists had destroyed the lift and the entry point to the Nariman House.
November 28 (Friday)
12:00 am: Nine hostages were rescued from the first floor.
7:30: am: Unable to enter the building from the ground floor, NSG commandos were air dropped onto the terrace of the building from a chopper.
1:00 pm: Firing at intervals and grenade explosions continued through the day.
3: 30 pm: A fifteen-minute shooting spree was followed by an NSG commando hanging a red flag from the window of the fifth floor as a signal to the NSG authorities outside about the final assault.
5:45 pm: An explosion blew up the fourth floor of the building. The eruption was strong enough to expose the top floor staircase.
6:00 pm: One of the NSG guards went to the rooftop and showed a thumbs up sign declaring the operation to be successful.
9:00 pm: NSG chief J K Dutta arrived at the spot and declared the rescue operation at Nariman House to be successfully over. However, the Rabbi, his wife and five of the hostages were found dead. One commando, Joginder Singh was killed while two others were injured.
Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive by the police was one of the four militants carrying out the gunfire inside the railway station.
Read More Here- NDTV
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