Mumbai: In one of the most violent terror attacks on Indian soil, Mumbai came under an unprecedented night attack as terrorists used heavy machine guns, including AK-47s, and grenades to strike at the city’s most high-profile targets — the hyper-busy CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; the landmark Taj Hotel at the Gateway and the luxury Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point; the domestic airport at Santa Cruz; the Cama and GT hospitals near CST; the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazgaon Dockyard — killing at least 80 and sending more than 900 to hospital, according to latest reports.
The attacks occurred at the busiest places. Besides hotels and hospitals, terrorists struck at railway stations, Crawford Market, Wadi Bunder and on the Western Express Highway near the airport. Several of these places are within a one-km radius of the commissioner of police’s office.
“This is definitely a terrorist strike. Seven places have been attacked with automatic weapons and grenades. Terrorists are still holed up in three locations Taj and Oberoi hotels and GT Hospital. Encounters are on at all three places,” said Maharashtra DGP A N Roy.
- Times of India. Terror Attacks in Mumbai
So far as I know this is the first time Indian based terrorists have specifically targeted westerners in an attack. This suggests to me that this is some kind of domestic group and not a Pakistani proxy – although its hard to imagine how someone without a state sponsor could pull off something like this.
India being India we’re likely to see widespread anti-muslim reprisals over the next few days; I’d also say a lot of criticism is headed in the direction of the Indian Intelligence agencies. The attacks in Mumbai appear to have been large scale, well equipped, highly co-ordinated and well planned. There’s not much you can do to prevent suicide bombers from blowing up a bus but it’s inexcusable for a domestic intelligence service to fail to detect and prevent something on this scale.