India pays tribute to Mumbai terror attack victims
It has been 10 years since attacks by Pakistan militants killed 166 people
MUMBAI: India yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks with ceremonies at sites that became battlegrounds.
With assault rifles and hand grenades, 10 Islamic militants killed 166 people and injured hundreds in a three-day rampage through the city which started on Nov 26, 2008.
The dead included lawyer Lo Hwei Yen, 28, the first Singaporean to die in an overseas terror attack.
The attackers belonged to Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the attacks "gruesome" and said: "A grateful nation bows to our brave police and security forces who valiantly fought the terrorists during the Mumbai attacks."
Mumbai's police remembered more than a dozen officers killed in the operation. Relatives of the victims laid wreaths at a police memorial.
Residents were expected to pay their respects at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station where Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only gunman caught alive, and another attacker killed almost 60 people and wounded at least 100 others.
The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel will hold a private service to remember the 31 people who died there.
Over 60 hours, four attackers shot dead guests and hotel workers, detonated explosives and set ablaze parts of the building.
Scenes of Indian commandos battling the heavily armed gunmen and guests trying to escape from windows down bedsheet ropes were broadcast globally.
Indian security forces retook control of the hotel on Nov 29.
More than 30 people died at the Oberoi and Trident hotels in a 42-hour siege.
Six hostages were killed at Nariman House, a Jewish cultural and religious centre. The current rabbi will unveil a new memorial at the centre.
Kasab was executed by India in 2012. The LeT had called him "a hero".
Indian officials routinely condemn Pakistan for not taking action against LeT leader Hafez Saeed, who remains free though he is designated a terrorist by the United Nations.
Pakistan said that evidence provided by India against Saeed is too vague.
Six Americans were among the victims. The US has just announced a US$5 million (S$6.8 million) prize for the capture of the planners of the attacks.
The US already has a US$10 million bounty offered for Saeed and US$2 million for Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, another senior group leader.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement: "We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including LeT and its affiliates." - AFP