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Mumbai Terror Attacks: What Happened On 26/11 Night?

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Mumbai: Exact 12 years ago, on the night of November 26, 2008, ten Pakistan-based terrorists launched a coordinated shooting and bombing attacks in Mumbai at five major locations, killing 166 people and injuring over 300 people.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists targeted five prominent places of the financial capital – Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Nariman House business and residential complex, Cama Hospital, Leopold Cafe, the Oberoi-Trident Hotel, and Taj Hotel and Tower.

The attackers stepped in Mumbai on a hijacked fishing trawler from a Pakistani port in Karachi.

However nine terrorists were killed in the four-day operation by the armed forces, the lone terrorist Ajmal Kasab was captured alive and sentenced to death at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune in 2012.

The terrorists hijacked cars, a police van, and were split into different groups to carry out the attacks. They used automatic weapons and grenades to storm the sites.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus was the first on their list of attacks. The bombing, which started around 9:20 pm, lasted about 90 minutes, leaving 58 people dead and over 100 injured.

The second attack was reported about 8-10 minutes later at the Nariman House business and residential complex housing the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach centre.

Before attacking it, the terrorists blew up a gas station. At around 9:40 pm, four terrorists struck the upsale and popular Leopold Cafe. They sprayed gunfire on the diners, killing 10 of them. The attack lasted between 10 to 15 minutes. The terrorists also planted bombs in two taxis that killed five people and injured 15.

The next targets were Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel. They first attacked guests around the swimming pool and then moved inside to the bars and restaurants. Two of the terrorists entered the hotel through the front door and started shooting and throwing grenades. They killed at least 31 people in this four-day siege.

The terrorists set off bombs under the central dome of the Taj Mahal hotel, setting off a massive fire, which later raged through the top floors of the Taj.

The Oberoi-Trident Hotel was attacked by two terrorists who entered the hotel through the restaurant and fired on the crowd. They killed approximately 30 people in a siege that lasted three days.

Soon after attacking CST railway station, Kasab and his fellow terrorist Ismail Khan targeted the Cama Hospital. They arrived at the back gate of the hospital, but the alert hospital staff had locked all the doors. The two men then ambushed a police team outside the hospital, killing six of them, including ATS chief Hemant Karkare, and hijacked their jeep.

Kasab and the other terrorist Ismail Khan were intercepted near Girgaum Chowpatty, where police constable Tukaram Omble grabbed the barrel of their rifle. This gave the police team time to overpower Kasab and capture him. The other terrorist was killed.

Kasab was sentenced to death and executed by hanging on 21 November 2012 and buried at Yerwada Jail in Pune.

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