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Revisiting 26/11: Taj Mahal Palace hotel staff recall the assault

Nov 24, 2018 20:18 IST
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India’s financial capital Mumbai was turned into a war zone a decade ago by a group of Pakistani gunmen who launched coordinated attacks in the heart of the city, targeting two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a tourist restaurant and a crowded train station. Three days of carnage - beginning on 26 November 2008 - killed 166 people including foreign tourists, and wounded hundreds more. With its imposing, red-tiled dome overlooking the Gateway of India monument, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel was the at the epicentre of the assault. The visceral image of smoke leaping out of the city landmark has come to define perhaps the darkest three days in Mumbai’s recent history. Thirty-one people died inside the hotel during the 60-hour siege including staff trying to guide the guests to safety. Ten years on, there are few signs of the assault in the 115-year old hotel, which was left ablaze, its opulent interior destroyed. But the events are not forgotten. In November 2012, India hanged the lone surviving gunman of the coordinated terror attacks. India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to pursue the case more actively, demanding action against those it says are responsible. But for most people affected by the events of 26/11, as the attack is known in India, closure and justice is still a long way off.

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