Mumbai: Despite the frequency of terror attacks that had struck India in the years leading up to 26 November, 2008, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks marked a watershed moment in how the country witnessed and responded to terrorist attacks. In less reflective of accounts of the tragedy, it would be known as India's 9/11 moment. More than 160 people died and hundreds of others were left scarred with wounds that would take a lifetime to heal. As a people, however, India emerged more resolute and less accepting of incidents of senseless violence that had one aim: to strike fear. In that, by most accounts, the Hafiz Saeed-led Lashkar-e-Taiba and their Pakistan-based backers that set out to bring a society to their knees, failed decidedly. Here is a look at how attacks of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks - remembered as the 26/11 Mumbai attacks - unfolded.
Ten Pakistani men trained and armed by Lashkar-e-Taiba stormed buildings in Mumbai, unleashing a 60-hour siege on the country's financial and entertainment capital with automatic weapons and grenades. 166 people died and over 600 were injured. Nine of the terrorists were killed be security forces, one survived and was arrested. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist, was executed after an unprecedented trial in November 2012.
The Timeline Of The 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks
November 23, 2008
The ten terrorists leave Pakistan's port city of Karachi by boat. On the way, they hijack a fishing dinghy, kill four of the crew and force the captain to take them to India.
November 26, 2008
The terrorists kill the captain as the boat reaches about 7 km from Mumbai coastline.
The terrorists use three inflatable speedboats to reach a settlement of fishermen at Macchimar Nagar in Mumbai's Cuffe Parade neighbourhood where six disembark and break into smaller groups. The rest keep sailing.
The remaining terrorists come ashore at Badhwar Park, split up and head two different ways.
The first group of terrorists strike Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus 'CST' railway station. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan fire indiscriminately into crowds. It is here that they are pictured in their most commonly seen photograph as "backpackers with assault rifles". The attack lasts about 90 minutes. About 58 people are killed and more than 100 are injured.
The second site, the Nariman House business and residential complex housing the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach centre, is attacked. Shortly before the attack, a neighbouring gas station is blown up. This draws people to the windows, where the terrorists fire upon them. After killing a Kosher food inspector, the terrorists took the rabbi, his wife, and five Israelis hostage and subsequently killed them. The two-year-old child of the couple survived.
The third site, Leopold Cafe, is attacked. Four terrorists enter the posh restaurant frequented by locals and foreigners, before opening fire on the crowd. About 10 people are killed in the attack which lasts 10 to 15 minutes. The terrorists also plant bombs in two taxis that kill 5 people and injure 15. The terrorists then proceed to the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel.
Two terrorists Shoib and Umer, who attacked the Leopold Cafe, enter the grounds of the Taj Mahal hotel by breaking down a side door. They first attack guests around the swimming pool and then move inside to the bars and restaurants of the hotel. Two other terrorists Abdul Rehman Bada and Abu Ali enter the hotel through the front entrance and start to shoot and throw grenades.
The last site, Oberoi-Trident Hotel, is attacked. Two terrorists enter the hotel via the restaurant and immediately begin firing into the crowd. They later move throughout the hotel looking for targets.
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan, who struck CST first, arrive at the back gate to the Cama Hospital. The hospital staff, alerted to their approach, lock all of the patient's rooms. They leave the hospital and ambush a group of police officers, killing six of them including chief of the cities Anti-Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkare. They hijack a police jeep before being intercepted by a team from the Gamdevi police station. Khan is killed and Kasab is arrested.
November 27, 2008
Police surround the Taj Mahal hotel. By this time, many of the guests inside the hotel were huddled up by the staff into small rooms. The Mumbai Police's Rapid Action Force positions themselves outside Oberoi-Trident hotel.
Ajmal Kasab and Ismail Khan leave the hospital and head north towards the Metro Cinema area.
The central dome of the Taj Mahal hotel is bombed and a massive fire rages in the building.
Large fires break out on the top floors of the Taj Mahal hotel.
Security forces undertake the first round of evacuations of people trapped inside the Taj hotel, helping people escape in two groups.
A team of 200 commandos reach Mumbai from New Delhi and take charge of the rescue operations in Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels. The government gives orders to storm the building.
Nanny Sandra Samuels escapes from Nariman House carrying the 2-year-old son of Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg.
30 hostages are freed from the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.
A team of 20 commandos try to enter the Nariman House building from the ground floor but find the elevator and the entry point destroyed by terrorists.
14 more hostages are freed from the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.
A series of loud explosions are heard in the Oberoi-Trident Hotel as fires break out.
Commandos rescue eight hostages from Nariman House.
November 28, 2008
Commandos rescue about seven more hostages from Nariman House.
A powerful explosion rocks the Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
Commandos begin landing on top of Nariman House by helicopter.
Between 35-40 hostages are rescued from the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.
Gunfire and explosions are heard as security forces fight terrorists at Nariman House.
Troops secure Nariman House and end the siege. Seven people are killed in the three day siege of the building.
The siege officially ends at the Oberoi-Trident Hotel. Approximately 30 people are killed.
November 29, 2008
Commandos secure the lobby at Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
6 am-9 am
The last terrorists are killed and the siege ends at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. Approximately 31 people are killed in the three-day siege.
[Compiled from police records and media reports]