The deadly terror attack on Mumbai, India, began at 9:15 p.m. on November 26, 2008. The late, great British veteran reporter Martin Bell was killed while working for CNN in Mumbai at 11:45 p.m. A later firefight at Nariman House left life and limb hanging in the balance of trying to escape the inferno. Another siege on a Bombay cafe where hostages were rescued, leaving eight dead and seven hostages injured, occurred on November 29, 2008.
It was made into a movie, “Mumbai Express,” in 2009. Radhika Apte played the role of Mary Hilton, the Australian who was among the 14 slain journalists when the heavily armed gunmen targeted the newsroom.
The siege started when terrorists executed two of their fellow hostages at the Oberoi hotel before taking hostages at the Taj hotel. Prithvi Talkies, a record store and offices for the UK-based Human Rights Watch, were also attacked. Four Australians were among the 200-plus people killed.
The attackers reportedly adopted language reminiscent of Pakistan and exploded a car bomb on the city’s main highway to drive the point home that they were Indian Mujahideen.
Among the dead from what was termed “India’s 9/11” were:
65 people of 23 nations died during the bloody siege that stretched over 24 days. Among the deceased from who perished while trying to escape were four American journalists, including Peter Moore, who was working as a fixer for the Agence France-Presse and lived in Bombay; seven crew members from Dubai’s TV anchor; seven journalists from other countries working for major news outlets in Mumbai; five South Africans working as tourists; a German freelance photographer; and an Australian who was also working for CNN.
Security forces, who were given orders by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to protect civilians, rescued 175 hostages, including four foreign women. Eleven of the terrorists were killed and two captured, while the four were pursued into Pakistan and killed.
Seven of the attackers were identified as Pakistani nationals, some of whom carried identity cards bearing the name Shahid Azam Rauf and some with the name Tahir Rasool Goraya. The Taliban issued a statement that they were from Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in Pakistan, and condemned the action as retaliation for the December 2007 raid on Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel. As of 2011, nobody had been convicted in the Mumbai siege and charges have yet to be filed in the 2006 July 2008 Mumbai blasts.
And then there are those who are still waiting.