The Mumbai terror attack on 26 November 2008, masterminded by Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed and executed by his terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba is an indelible moment in the lives of Indians, especially people of Mumbai.
Planned elaborately and executed in a clandestine manner, the handlers of the terrorists were in touch with them throughout during the whole. Here is a brief on how the attack was executed and how India ultimately fought it off.
The terrorists left the Karachi port in Pakistan on a boat on 23 November 2008 and travelled in it till they reached near Indian coastline where they hijacked a fishing boat and killed four of five crewmen. They left the last person to navigate them to the Mumbai coast.
On the eve of 26 November, the terrorists killed the boatman as they reached Mumbai coastline. Then they left the boat and switched to three inflatable speedboats. Six of the terrorists disembarked the speed boats at Macchimar Nagar from where they broke into smaller groups. Remaining terrorists kept sailing and disembarked at Badhwar Park from there they headed in two different ways.
At 9.21 pm on 26 November, one group of terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, entered Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and fired indiscriminately for 90 minutes resulting in 58 people being killed and over a hundred being injured.
Another group attacked the Nariman House complex and killed a Kosher food inspector and held hostage a rabbi, his wife and five Israelis whom they later killed.
Leopold Cafe was attacked at 9.30 pm by four terrorists resulting in 10 being killed. They also planted bombs in a taxi killing 5 people and injuring 15.
Following that, they headed towards the Taj Mahal hotel, entered it and killed whoever they saw in the way.
In the fightback, a small team of Indian Navy’s Marine Commandos entered the hotel and started combating the terrorists.
Two other terrorists entered the Oberoi-Trident hotel around 9.35 pm and immediately fired on the crowd there. After that, they started looking for targets in the hotel.
Hemant Karkare, chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), was killed at Cama hospital around 10.30 pm by Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan. They hijacked a police vehicle but were intercepted by police team from Gamdevi police station which resulted in killing of Khan and arrest of Kasab.
On 27 November, 200 National Security Guard (NSG) commandos reached Mumbai at 6.30 am in the morning from Delhi and took charge of the operation at various places including Taj and Oberoi-Trident hotel.
Oberoi-Trident was secured by the commandos at 2.40 pm on 28 November while Nariman house was secured at 6 pm the same day.
Next day, on 29 November, the commandos were able to kill the last of the terrorist at Taj hotel between 6 am to 9 am and thus officially ending the terror attack on India’s economic capital.
More than 160 people were killed and hundreds were left injured by the time the operation ended and many more were scarred for life.
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