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Updated: November 18, 2009 13:38 IST

Virginia varsity runs serial blog on 26/11

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Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel guarding Mumbai's Arthur Road jail where trial of the the lone survivor of the Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, is taking place. File photo: Vivek Bendre
The Hindu Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel guarding Mumbai's Arthur Road jail where trial of the the lone survivor of the Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, is taking place. File photo: Vivek Bendre

The four-part blog by a Virginia University alumnus, a multimedia journalist who covers conflicts around South Asia, on Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) website would run through Thursday.

“Sixty Hours of Terror: Ten Gunmen, Ten Minutes”, a serial blog covering the Nov. 26 terror strike in Mumbai, has started running on a Virginia University website to mark the first anniversary of the worst terror attack in India.

The four-part blog by Virginia University alumnus, Jason Motlagh, a multimedia journalist who covers conflicts around South Asia, on Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) website would run through Thursday.

Mr. Motlagh made multiple trips to Mumbai, interviewed survivors, pored over pages and pages of police records, reports in the Indian media and transcripts of intercepted phone communications between the gunmen and their handlers, and watched video from closed-circuit security cameras, VQR said.

“New journalism”

The online report is more than 19,000 words long and features 24 unpublished photographs of the attacks and aftermath. Mr. Motlagh’s work fills in the absence of “a single, thorough accounting of what exactly had happened on those fateful days”, editor Ted Genoways writes in the introduction.

Mr. Genoways said publishing Mr. Motlagh’s “amazing piece of original journalism” was a milestone for VQR.

“We soon hit upon the idea of something that would be closer to literary non-fiction than traditional journalism — or even ‘new journalism’ This would not be the story of Jason’s journey in the wake of disaster, but a straightforward narrative of what happened in Mumbai,” Mr. Genoways said.

The first instalment recounts the attacks at five sites in the city and describes the Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT) or the “Army of the Pure” behind these and other fatal incidents where dozens of people have been killed and hundreds injured.

The Pakistan-based terror group claims it wants to “liberate” Kashmir from India and expand an Islamist state, including Pakistan.

VQR, a national journal of literature and discussion, was founded at the University of Virginia in 1925. Over the years it has published the work of such luminaries as H.L. Mencken, Bertrand Russell, Katherine Anne Porter and D.H. Lawrence.

Recent issues have featured essays, stories, poems and art by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rita Dove, Cormac McCarthy, Adrienne Rich and Art Spiegelman, among others.

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