India’s capital of Mumbai has been targeted by terror attacks killing at least 80, by last count. At least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a movie theater and a hospital were targeted by use of machine guns and grenades, according to published reports.
In the history of the country’s terror attacks, the latest case is a rarity in itself in that this time around, terrorists specifically targeted areas that are popular tourist sites. The latest blow to India comes at a time when the country this year alone has seen a rise in terrorist attacks.
The assaults have been described as brazen and dramatically different in their scale and execution. An Indian official has told reporters that the attackers used boats to land on the urban peninsula where the attacks took place.
According to published reports, some 900 people are claimed to have been injured, including 20 Australians, and at least one Japanese tourist is reported to have been killed.
Published reports also claim that terrorists rounded up tourists to two of the Mumbai’s luxury hotels, the Taj hotel and the Oberoi, where they are now being detained. Officials have estimated that at least 50-60 are being held hostage at the Taj alone.
According to eyewitness accounts, terrorists stole several cars including a police vehicle and drove through the streets firing shots at random, a petrol station was blown up, shots were fired outside a hospital and there were reports of a bomb in the vicinity of the airport.
Deccan Mujahideen, known to have no affiliations with any terror groups at this time, has claimed responsibility for the attacks via an email to the media.
In the last six years alone, India has seen more than 600 people killed while hundreds others maimed and devastated as a result of terror strikes. The following is a chronology of the major terrorist attacks in the country as put together by the Times of India:
Mumbai, Nov 26, 2008: Several killed and many more injured in seven terror attacks targetting mostly foreigners’ hangout places.
Assam, Oct 30, 2008: At least 45 killed (figure can change) and over 100 injured in 18 terror bombings across Assam.
Imphal, Oct 21, 2008: 17 killed in a powerful blast near Manipur Police Commando complex.
Kanpur, Oct 14, 2008: Eight people injured after bomb planted on a rented bicycle went off Colonelganj market.
Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 29, 2008: Five people died after a bomb kept in a motorbike went off in a crowded market.
Modasa, Gujarat, Sep 29 2008: One killed and several injured after a low-intensity bomb kept on a motorcycle went off near a mosque.
New Delhi, Sep 27, 2008: Three people killed after a crude bomb was thrown in a busy market in Mehrauli.
New Delhi, Sep 13, 2008: 26 people killed in six blasts across the city.
Ahmedabad, July 26, 2008: 57 people killed after 20-odd synchronised bombs went off within less than two hours.
Bangalore, July 25, 2008: One person killed in a low-intensity bomb explosion.
Jaipur, May 13, 2008: 68 people killed in serial bombings.
Hyderabad, Aug 25, 2007: 42 people killed in two blasts, at a popular eatery and a public park.
Samjhauta Express, Feb 19, 2007: 66 people killed after two firebombs went off on the India-Pakistan friendship train.
Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 8, 2006: 40 people killed in two blasts.
Mumbai, July 11, 2006: 209 people killed in seven blasts on suburban trains and stations.
Varanasi, March 7, 2006: 21 people killed in three blasts including one at a temple and another at a railway station.
New Delhi, Oct 29, 2005: 61 people killed in three blasts on the eve of Diwali.
Mumbai, Aug 25, 2003: 46 people killed in two blasts including one near the Gateway of India.
Gandhinagar, Sep 24, 2002: 34 people killed in the attack on the Akshardham temple.
(with input from wires)