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MUMBAI BLASTS: HOW IT HAPPENED

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 19:48 IST
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March 12, 1993 — A series of bombings occurred in Bombay, India.

At 1:30 pm a powerful car bomb exploded in the basement of the Mumbai Stock Exchange building in Bombay, India.

The 28-story office building housing the exchange was set on fire and many nearby office buildings were also severely damaged.

About 50 were killed by this explosion. Thirty minutes later, another car bomb exploded elsewhere in Bombay, and from 1:30 pm to 3:50 pm a total of 13 bombs exploded throughout the city of Bombay.

All the bombs used RDX explosive; most were car bombs, while some were in scooters. A bomb on a bus killed 80.

Three hotels were struck by suitcase bombs left in rooms booked by the terrorists: Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, and Hotel Airport Centaur (this bomb at 3:50 pm killed 2).

Other targets included banks, government offices, an airline office (Air-India Building), and a major shopping complex.

Specific sites struck included Zaveri Bazar, Century Bazar, Katha Bazar, Shiv Sena Bhawan, Plaza Theatre, Nair Hospital, JJ Hospital, and Bombay University.

The jeep-bomb at the Century Bazar exploded prematurely, foiling a plot by the departing group of terrorists to conduct an additional attack with automatic weapons.

The bombing at Shiv Sena Bhawan caused no injuries. Hand grenades were thrown at Sahar International Airport and at Fishermen's Colony, apparently targeting Hindus at the latter.
    
Official casualty counts were 257 killed and 713 injured; other sources reported 317 killed and 1,400 injured.

Two days later a pair of unexploded bombs were found and defused near a rail station. A local Muslim organized crime family was blamed; the Indian government concluded that Pakistan was sheltering some of those responsible.

By April, 88 had been arrested; on June 30, 1995, India placed 124 accused conspirators on trial, eventually trying about 200; on February 20, 2003, India arrested two more men accused of being gang leaders behind the attack.

Fatalities: 317

Aftermath of '93 blasts

Islamic terrorist groups based in Pakistan were suspected to be responsible for these bombings, and evidence uncovered pointed to the involvement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Many hundreds of people, predominantly Muslim, have been arrested and detained in Indian courts and are undergoing or awaiting trial. So far, no convictions have resulted thirteen years after the blasts.

More than ten years later, on August 25, 2003, two large bombs left in taxis exploded in south Mumbai - the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in the busy Kalbadevi area - killing 52 people and wounding more than a hundred others.

India blamed two Islamic militant groups, Jaish-e-Mohammed or Lashkar-e-Taiba, for the attacks. This is believed by some to be a response for the 2002 Gujarat riots which left more than 2,000 dead, mainly Muslims.

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