Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

28 November 2008

Multiple attacks in Mumbai kill 143 people

Multiple attacks in Mumbai kill 143 people

At least 143 people have been killed and 300 injured in multiple attacks in Mumbai. The attacks, which started on Wednesday 27 November, targeted public places and tourist destinations such as a hospital, a railway station, a restaurant and hotels.

The attacks were unprecedented in their level of coordination and their targeting of foreign civilians. Among those who were held hostage in the Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi-Trident hotels and the Jewish complex at the Nariman Centre were: Americans, British, Italians, Swedes, Canadians, Yemenis, New Zealanders, Spaniards, Turks, Israelis and a Singaporean.

It is unclear how many people of each nationality were killed as more bodies are thought to be inside the three buildings. Eleven foreigners have been reported dead. Four Australians, two British and one Italian have been confirmed. An Israeli family is also thought to have died in the attack on the Nariman Centre.

Seventeen residents and staff are known to have been killed at the Taj Mahal Palace. Among those to survive the attack at the hotel were a few European MEPs. About 200 people have been rescued, including 143 people from the Oberoi-Trident Hotel. Twenty-four bodies have been found in the Oberoit-Trident.

Nine of the attackers are reported to have been killed. Three have been arrested. Up to 25 attackers may have been involved. At least 15 members of the security forces and policemen, including the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism chief and three other senior officers are among those killed while fighting the attacks.

The army and the National Security Guard have also been involved in gun battles as they try to clear the buildings and free hostages. The unknown gunmen are reported to be South Asian. Indian media reports have quoted security sources as stating that one of the three arrested persons was a Pakistani national from Faridkot in Multan.

The Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that preliminary information suggested that "some elements" in Pakistan were responsible for the terror strikes in Mumbai. India is expected to take up the matter with Islamabad when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today.

The head of Pakistan's military intelligence, the ISI, Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, will visit India to share information on the attacks. Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today accepted a request from the Indian Prime Minsiter to send the ISI chief to India, according to Pakistan Prime Minister's spokesman Zahid Bashir. The same was been confirmed by an Indian government spokesman.

The US is sending a team from the FBI to coordinate investigations.

Amnesty International said that the attacks blatantly violate the most fundamental principles of international law. The organization expressed sympathy for the families of those people killed or wounded in the attacks and concern for the fate of remaining hostages.

"We call on the Indian government to ensure a prompt, effective, and transparent investigation of the incidents," said Ramesh Gopalakrishnan of Amnesty International's South Asia team. "Any suspects should be investigated and brought to trials in line with international standards."


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