One of the bomb-damaged coaches at the Mahim station in Mumbai during the 11 July 2006 train bombings


There have been many terrorist bombings in Mumbai since 13 co-ordinated bomb explosions[18] The 1993 attacks are believed to be retaliation for the Babri Mosque demolition.[19] killed 257 people and injured 700 on 12 March 1993.

On 6 December 2002, a blast in a BEST bus near Ghatkopar station killed two people and injured 28.[20] The bombing occurred on the tenth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.[21] A bicycle bomb exploded near the Vile Parle station in Mumbai, killing one person and injuring 25 on 27 January 2003, a day before the visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India to the city.[22] On 13 March 2003, a day after the tenth anniversary of the 1993 Bombay bombings, a bomb exploded in a train compartment near the Mulund[23] On 28 July 2003, a blast in a BEST bus in Ghatkopar killed 4 people and injured 32.[24] On 25 August 2003 two bombs exploded in South Mumbai, one near the Gateway of India and the other at Zaveri Bazaar in Kalbadevi. At least 44 people were killed and 150 injured.[25] On 11 July 2006, seven bombs exploded within 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai.[26] 209 people were killed,[27] and over 700 injured.[28] According to Mumbai Police, the bombings were carried out by Lashkar-e-TaibaStudents Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).[29][30] station, killing 10 people and injuring 70. an

Entry into India

  • traveled by sea from Karachi, Pakistan across the Arabian Sea, hijacked the Indian fishing trawler 'Kuber',
  • The first events were detailed around 20:00 Indian Standard Time (IST) on 26 November, when 10 Urdu-speaking men in inflatable speedboats came ashore at two locations in Colaba. They reportedly told local Marathi-speaking fishermen to "mind their business" before they split up and headed two different ways. The fishermen's subsequent report to police received little response.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Bullet marks on the wall of the suburban terminus at CST

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was attacked by two gunmen, one of whom, Ajmal Kasab, was later caught alive by the police and identified by eyewitnesses. The attacks began around 21:30 when the two men entered the passenger hall and opened fire,[33] using AK-47 rifles.[34] The attackers killed 52 people and injured 109 others,[34] their assault ending at about 22:45.[33]

Leopold Cafe

The Leopold Cafe, a popular restaurant and bar on Colaba Causeway, was one of the first sites to be attacked.The injured included among others, Sourav Mishra, a Reuters journalist, who was one of the first witnesses of the attacks

Bomb blasts in taxis

There were two explosions in taxis caused by timer bombs. The first one was at 10:40 pm at Vile Parle.

Taj Mahal Hotel and Oberoi Trident

  1. Two hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi Trident, were amongst the four locations targeted. Six explosions were reported at the Taj hotel and one at the Oberoi Trident.
  2. both hotels were surrounded by Rapid Action Force personnel and Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and National Security Guards (NSG) commandos
  3. A number of European Parliament Committee on International Trade delegates were staying in the Taj Mahal hotel when it was attacked
  4. British Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sajjad Karim (who was in the lobby when attackers initially opened fire there) and German Social Democrat MEP Erika Mann were hiding in different parts of the building

Nariman House

Front view of the Nariman House a week after the attacks

Nariman House, a Chabad Lubavitch Jewish center in Colaba known as the Mumbai Chabad House, was taken over by two attackers and several residents were held hostage.

End of the attacks

By the morning of 27 November, the army had secured the Jewish outreach center at Nariman House as well as the Oberoi Trident hotel. They also incorrectly believed that the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers had been cleared of attackers, and soldiers were leading hostages and holed-up guests to safety, and removing bodies of those killed in the attacks.[63][64][65] However, later news reports indicated that there were still two or three attackers in the Taj, with explosions heard and gunfire exchanged

In addition, police seized a boat filled with arms and explosives anchored at Mazgaon dock off Mumbai harbour.


  • The attackers used at least three SIM cards purchased on the Indian side of the border with Bangladesh, pointing to some local collusion.
  • Blood tests on the attackers indicate that they had taken cocaine and LSD during the attacks, to sustain their energy and stay awake for 50 hours.
  • The gunman who survived said that the attackers had used Google Earth

In February 2009, Pakistani newspaper The Dawn, citing Pakistani investigators, claimed that the attacks were planned in Bangladesh and refined in India with significant support being provided by Indian based militant groups and criminal organisations.[82] However, Indian investigators refuted this claim, with the Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram dismissing the claim as "rubbish"
  • On 12 February 2009, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik agreed that some part of the conspiracy did take place in Pakistan.
  • Malik said that Pakistan had lodged a First Information Report (FIR) under Anti-Terrorism Act against three persons.[84]
  • Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on 15 February 2009 that the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings and the Mumbai attacks were linked, and that Pakistan needed information from India to continue its investigation.[85]
  • Investigations conducted in LeT camps in Karachi and Thatta revealed diaries, training manuals, maps of India and operational instructions.


On 9 December, the ten attackers were identified by Mumbai police, along with their home towns in Pakistan: Ajmal Amir from Faridkot, Abu Ismail Dera Ismail Khan from Dera Ismail Khan, Hafiz Arshad and Babr Imran from Multan, Javed from Okara, Shoaib from Narowal, Nazih and Nasr from Faisalabad, Abdul Rahman from Arifwalla, and Fahad Ullah from Dipalpur Taluka. Dera Ismail Khan is in the North-West Frontier Province; the rest of the towns are in Pakistani Punjab.[95]


Flowers at the spot of Hemant Karkare's death

The attacks had multiple, far-ranging effects. The impact was felt on Mumbai and on Maharashtra state, and throughout urban India. The Maharashtra state government has planned to buy 36 speed boats to patrol the coastal areas and several helicopters for the same purpose. It will also create an anti-terror force called "Force One" and upgrade all the weapons that Mumbai police currently have.[109] Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on an all party conference declared that legal framework will be strengthened in the battle against terrorism and a federal anti-terrorist intelligence and investigation agency, like the FBI, will be set up soon to co-ordinate actions against terrorism.[110]

The attacks have damaged India's already strained relationship with Pakistan. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee declared that India may indulge in military strikes against terror camps in Pakistan to protect its territorial integrity. There were also after-effects on the United States's relationships with both countries,[111] the US-led NATO war in Afghanistan,[112] and on the Global War on Terror.[113] According to Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble, Indian intelligence agencies did not share any information with them.[114] However, FBI chief Robert Mueller praised the "unprecedented cooperation" between American and Indian intelligence agencies over Mumbai terror attack probe.[115]


Protests at the Gateway of India in Mumbai

Indians criticised their political leaders after the attacks, saying that their ineptness was partly responsible. The Times of India commented on its front page that "Our politicians fiddle as innocents die."[116] Political reactions in Mumbai and India included a range of resignations and political changes, including the resignations of Minister for Home Affairs, Shivraj Patil,[117] Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh,[118] and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharastra R. R. Patil.[119] In addition, there was condemnation of the attacks by Indian Muslim organizations and personalities and Naxalite insurgents. Prominent Muslim personalities such as Bollywood actor Aamir Khan appealed to the community members in the country to observe Eid al-Adha as a day of mourning on 9 December 2008.[120] The business establishment also reacted, with changes to transport, and requests for an increase in self-defense capabilities.[121] The attacks also triggered a chain of citizens' movements across India such as the India Today Group's "War Against Terror" campaign. There were vigils held across all of India with candles and placards commemorating the victims of the attacks.[122] The NSG commandos based in Delhi also met criticism for taking 10 hours to reach the terrorists.[123][124]

International reaction for the attacks was widespread, with many countries and international organizations condemning the attacks and expressing their condolences to the civilian victims. Many important personalities around the world also condemned the attacks.[125] Outgoing US President George W. Bush said "We pledge the full support of the United States as India investigates these attacks, brings the guilty to justice and sustains its democratic way of life."[126] Likewise, a spokesman for then President-elect Barack Obama said that Mr. Obama “strongly condemns today’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and his thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the people of India.“[127]

Media coverage highlighted the use of new media and Internet social networking tools, including Twitter and Flickr, in spreading information about the attacks. In addition, many Indian bloggers and Wikipedia offered live textual coverage of the attacks.[128] A map of the attacks was set up by a web journalist using Google Maps.[129][130] The New York Times, in July 2009, described the event as "what may be the most well-documented terrorist attack anywhere."[131]

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