Database of terrorist attacks and related events--Johnston's Archive

Mumbai, India--26-29 November 2008

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 26 November 2017

Date: 26-29 November 2008

Location: Mumbai, India

Type of event: terrorism


Armed terrorists conducted multiple attacks on sites in Mumbai, India, before taking hostages at three locations in a two-day seige. At least 10 terrorists took over a fishing boat, killing at least one on the boat, and used the boat to approach Mumbai. The terrorists came ashore in two small boats, reaching Cuffe Parade about 20:30 and dispersing in groups of 2-4 to attack several locations in downtown Mumbai. About 21:30 two terrorists attacked Cafe Leopold with automatic weapons, killing or injuring at least 13. Two other gunmen attacked the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station with automatic weapons and grenades, killing at least 41 including 3 police officers. These two then attacked the Cama Hospital, killing at least 2 hospital guards and one police officer in the hospital, then surprising and killing several police officers in an SUV between the Cama Hospital and adjacent Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital, including H. Karkare, head of Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorist Squad. They took the SUV and fled about 21:45, engaging in random shooting and trading vehicles before encountering a police roadblock near Chowpatty Beach where they killed one officer and injured another before police killed one terrorist and captured the other. About 21:30 another pair of terrorists attacked the Nariman House including the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach center, killing one and taking others hostage; they also tossed a grenade at a nearby gas station and shot several people in the area attracted to the commotion. Five hostages at the Chabad center were later killed. A taxi exploded north of downtown at Vile Parle; it was not immediately clear if the taxi driver had been aware of the bomb.

About 21:45 two gunmen entered the Oberoi-Trident hotel, killing several staff and guests and taking others captive. At the same time four gunmen attacked the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. At both hotels gun battles between terrorists and police developed over the next few hours, with the terrorists roaming the hotels and killing or taking more hostages; hundreds of guests and staff were trapped in the hotels hiding or taken captive. Multiple explosions occurred at both hotels and fires broke out at the Taj Mahal Palace, set by the terrorists. At 07:30 on 28 November Indian commandoes entered the Nariman House, gaining control of the site about 18:00 but finding 8 hostages dead. Indian authorities reported taking full control of the Oberoi hotel at 11:00 on 28 November and the Taj Mahal Palace at 07:30 on 29 November. Fatalities at the two hotels were at least 32 and 51, respectively. On 3 December explosives left by the terrorists at the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminal were found and defused. Indian authorities have blamed the attack on Pakistani terrorists.

A total of 174 were reported killed, including 14 Indian police, 6 Indian soldiers, 22 foreigners, 123 Indian civilians, and 9 terrorists. Foreigners included 6 Americans, 3 Germans, 3 Israelis, 2 Canadians, 2 French, and one citizen each of Australia, China, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Kingdom (total of 22 foreigners may represent some of the preceding with dual citizenship). One terrorist was captured. Some early figures based on reports from hospitals cited 900 injured; subsequently Indian authorities reported 295-370 or 327 injured, including 23 foreigners and at least 12 Indian police officers.

Consequences: 174 killed, 900 injured


© 2017 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 November 2017.
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