Nine years ago, on November 26, 10 heavily-armed terrorists stormed into the Taj Mahal Hotel of Mumbai, India. The city was grasped by terror for three consecutive days till November 29. The coordinated shooting and bombing became the most horrific terror attack on the soil of India.
Until the Mumbai attackers reached India through the Arabian Sea on November 2008, terror was associated to people inhabiting the borders of the country. The shooting burst the bubble of the elites of the country. Also, the attack transformed a domestic tragedy that led to significant international consequences. As many as 166 people were killed, and over 300 were injured in the whole tragic attack.
Two men entered the passenger hall of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and opened fire at around 9:30pm on 26/11. That landmark experienced 58 deaths and over 100 people were injured.
The attackers next moved out of the building and continued shooting pedestrians on the streets. While heading towards Cama Hospital, they were confronted by the Mumbai team police that was led by Hemant Kakre. He was killed along with his two officers, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte. One of the terrorists named Ajmal Kasab, got arrested and the other one was killed when they approached a police barricade.
Two other attackers, out of the 10 that entered India, attacked the Leopold Café in Mumbai. At least 10 people were killed, including some foreigners. Many explosions happened in the taxis through timer bombs. Around five people were killed in such incidents and quite a few were injured.
Three other landmarks which include the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the Oberoi Trident Hotel and a Jewish community centre in Nariman House, marked the deaths of a number of people and countless were injured.
At last, after hours of fighting, the NSG commandos cleared the last spot (Nariman House) and successfully killed the terrorists. It has been nine complete years, but the memories of 26/11 attack story still haunt the people of Mumbai. This year, hundreds of people paid tribute to the martyrs of 26/11 at key places that were attacked by the terrorists in Mumbai.