There have been many bombings in Mumbai since the 13 coordinated bomb explosions that killed 257 people and injured 700 on 12 March 1993. The 1993 attacks are believed to have been in retaliation for the Babri Mosque demolition.
On 6 December 2002, a blast in a BEST bus near Ghatkopar station killed two people and injured 28. The bombing occurred on the 10th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.
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 the Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the city.
On 13 March 2003, a day after the 10th anniversary of the 1993 Bombay bombings, a bomb exploded in a train compartment near the Mulund station, killing 10 people and injuring 70.
On 28 July 2003, a blast in a BEST bus in Ghatkopar killed 4 people and injured 32.
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.
On 11 July 2006, seven bombs exploded within 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai. 209 people were killed, including 22 foreigners and over 700 injured. According to the Mumbai Police, the bombings were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
The 2008 Mumbai attacks were twelve coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India’s largest city by members of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, later confessed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan’s ISI. The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.
Pakistan has often used proxy terrorists groups to achieve its foreign policy goals, in this case highlighting the issue of jurisdiction over Kashmir.
Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai: at (1) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the (2) Oberoi Trident, the (3) Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, (4) Leopold Cafe, (5) Cama Hospital (a women and children’s hospital), the (6) Nariman House Jewish community centre, the (7) Metro Cinema, and a lane behind the Times of India building and (8) St. Xavier’s College. There was also an explosion at (9) Mazagaon, in Mumbai’s port area, and in a (10) taxi at Vile Parle.
By the early morning of 28 November, all sites except for the Taj hotel had been secured by Mumbai Police and security forces. On 29 November, India’s National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the deaths of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks.
Two hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Oberoi Trident, were among the four locations targeted. Six explosions were reported at the Taj hotel – one in the lobby, two in the elevators, three in the restaurant – and one at the Oberoi Trident. At the Taj Mahal, firefighters rescued 200 hostages from windows using ladders during the first night.
During the attacks, both hotels were surrounded by Rapid Action Force personnel and Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and National Security Guards (NSG) commandos. When reports emerged that attackers were receiving television broadcasts, feeds to the hotels were blocked. Security forces stormed both hotels, and all nine attackers were killed by the morning of 29 November. 32 hostages were killed at the Oberoi Trident.
A number of European Parliament Committee on International Trade delegates were staying in the Taj Mahal hotel when it was attacked, but none of them were injured. 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. Also reported present was Spanish MEP Ignasi Guardans, who was barricaded in a hotel room. Another British Conservative MEP, Syed Kamall, reported that he along with several other MEPs left the hotel and went to a nearby restaurant shortly before the attack. Kamall also reported that Polish MEP Jan Masiel was thought to have been sleeping in his hotel room when the attacks started, but eventually left the hotel safely. Kamall and Guardans reported that a Hungarian MEP’s assistant was shot. Also caught up in the shooting were the President of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, while checking in at the Oberoi Trident, and Indian MP N. N. Krishnadas of Kerala and Gulam Noon while having dinner at a restaurant in the Taj hotel.
“They told us, kill as many as you can.” — Ajmal Kasab
Ajmal Kasab disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, considered a terrorist organisation by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, among others. The Indian government said that the attackers came from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan. On 12 February 2009, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik asserted that parts of the attack had been planned in Pakistan. A trial court on 6 May 2010 sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on all the 86 charges for which he was convicted. Kasab was executed by hanging at Yerwada Jail in Pune on 21 November 2012.
[note that although the Ajmal Kasab is claimed to have come to Bombay via the waterways from Pakistan, he speaks fluent Hindi indicating that he was probably one of the millions of Pakistani immigrants India houses]