The first report published on November 27
The city witnessed a major terror strike on Wednesday with explosions and firing reported from several places. Reports said 20 people were killed and 348 injured. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll at 60. Maharashtra Director-General of Police A.N. Roy confirmed that there were seven attacks, three of them encounters.
Fierce fighting rages in Mumbai
Deafening blasts and fierce gun battles continued late into the night on Thursday at two five star hotels and Nariman House in South Mumbai as the elite National Security Guard (NSG) and the Army grappled with terrorists who have been wreaking havoc on the financial hub since Wednesday night.
Alaska was planning fidayeen attacks
Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders had ordered the execution of a major fidayeen attack in Mumbai, the interrogation records of a group of Pakistani and Indian nationals held in February suggest. A Uttar Pradesh resident Fahim Ahmed Ansari, who was arrested that month along with seven other suspects, had planned to travel from Rampur to Mumbai in mid-February with two specially-trained Pakistani nationals who were to carry out the strike.
Heart-rending scenes in hospital
As anxious and shocked relatives arrived to claim bodies or look for the injured, social workers helped them with information. Doctors and interns rushed in and out of the building, as a never-ending line of ambulances brought in more victims.Families of the victims The Hindu spoke to had only words of praise for the hospitals. “In such a difficult situation we are getting the best help,” said Ajaz Dalal who was waiting to claim the body of an uncle who died in the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) firing.
United political response
Political and official India reacted calmly and unitedly to the terrorists’ assault. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went on the air, talked tough, asserted that a group “based outside the country” carried out the Mumbai attacks, and warned “neighbours” of consequences if they continued to allow the use of their territories to these terror groups.
Opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, as well as other parties extended support to the Manmohan Singh government in what they all described as a grave moment for the nation.
Mumbai policemen who led from the front
Three top Mumbai police officials and 14 policemen were killed in combat operations against the terrorists who attacked the metropolis on Wednesday.
The biggest shock for the personnel was the killing of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare in an operation he led. Mr. Karkare was gunned down near the Cama and Albless Hospital.
Additional Commissioner of Police (East) Ashok Kamte and police inspector and well-known encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar were also killed in the same operation.
'We heard gun sounds for 15 minutes, then it was quiet; when they opened the shutters, we saw bodies and blood'
At 10.55 p.m. on Wednesday, a crowd gathered at the Metro Cinema junction as word had spread that terrorists were holed up at the Cama and Albless Hospital close to the cinema. The road to the hospital had been cordoned off.
Suddenly, The Hindu correspondent saw the crowd running and screaming. A white police car was firing at the crowd indiscriminately. One person died. The police said the terrorists possibly escaped from the hospital by jumping into a police car after holding the driver at gun point.