Timeline of the 2008 Mumbai attacks

Last updated

This is a timeline of the 2008 Mumbai attacks .

Warnings given to Taj Hotel and the Centre

In October, US intelligence agencies warned the chairman of the company that owns the hotel, Mr Ratan Tata that there will be a terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Security was increased, but was removed soon after. [1]


On 18 November, Indian intelligence agencies intercepted a satellite phone call to a leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist organization, which revealed plans for a sea borne attack. [2]

Entry into India and initial attacks

DateEstimated Time
(+0530 UTC)
21 NoveveningTen terrorists leave Karachi, Pakistan in a boat and travel for thirty-eight hours, remaining undetected by the Indian Navy. [3] [4]
22 NovEach of the 10 men is given 6 to 7 magazines of 30 rounds each plus 400 rounds not loaded in magazines, 8 hand grenades, one AK-47 assault rifle, an automatic loading revolver, credit cards and a supply of dried fruit. [3] [5]
23 NovThe terrorists hijack an Indian trawler, the Kuber, killing four fishermen and ordering the captain to sail to India. [3]
26 NovduskThey reach within four nautical miles (7 kilometres) of Mumbai and kill the captain. They then proceed to board three inflatable speedboats and proceed towards Colaba jetty. [3]
26 Nov20:10The first boat carrying around ten of them with several large bags docks at Macchimar Nagar, in Mumbai's Cuffe Parade neighbourhood, where six of the men disembark and the rest continue sailing along the shore. When local residents ask about their occupation, the group responds that they are students. [6]
26 Nov20:30Another such incident plays out in Colaba, when the remaining men come ashore at Badhwar Park, Cuffe Parade. [3] They reportedly tell local Marathi-speaking fishermen to mind their business before they split up and head two different ways. [7]
26 NovTwo terrorists attack Leopold Cafe, spraying bullets onto the people inside before fleeing. 10 people are killed and many are injured, including a Reuters news reporter. Terrorists also plant bombs in two taxis, killing 5 people and wounding 15.
26 NovFour of the men enter the Taj Mahal Hotel, two enter the Oberoi Trident, two enter Nariman House, and the other two men, Ajmal Kasab and Ismail, take a taxi to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. [3]
26 Nov21:20Armed with AK-47 and AK74U rifles, Kasab and Ismail enter the passenger hall of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, opening fire and throwing grenades, [8] killing 58 people and wounding 104. [9]
26 Nov22:30Kasab and Ismail then proceed to the Cama Hospital. The Hospital staff, noticing their approach, lock all of the patients' rooms. The two men reach the Hospital, opening fire there. ATS chief Hemant Karkare attempts to chase them in a jeep, but is gunned down, along with three of his men. The terrorists then hijack the jeep and drive away, but are intercepted by a team from the Gamdevi police station near the pedestrian bridge at Girgaum Chowpatty (Coordinates: 18°57′20″N72°48′46″E / 18.955552°N 72.812909°E / 18.955552; 72.812909 ). Ismail is killed and Kasab is arrested. [10] [11]

At the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel

Sources: NDTV , [12] Evening Standard , [13] and BBC [14]

DateEstimated Time
(+0530 UTC)
26 Nov23:00Four terrorists enter Taj hotel. [12]
27 Nov00:00Mumbai police surround the hotel. [12]
27 Nov01:00Massive blast in the central dome, fire in the building. [12]
27 Nov02:30Army soldiers arrive in two trucks and enter the front lobby. Fire spreads across the top floor. [12]
27 Nov03:00Fire engines arrive. Shooting is heard inside lobby and heritage building. [12]
27 Nov04:00Firemen rescue people with ladders. [12] More than 200 people evacuated.
27 Nov04:30Terrorists reported to move from central dome to new tower. [12]
27 Nov05:00Commandos and Bomb squad arrive. Police step up pressure. [12]
27 Nov05:30Fire brought under control but terrorists holed up in new tower with 100 to 150 hostages. [12]
27 Nov06:30Security forces say they are ready for encounter. Government also gives the green signal to storm the hotel. [12]
27 Nov08:00People are brought out of the lobby. [12]
27 Nov08:30Another 50 people brought out of Chambers Club. [12]
27 Nov09:00More rounds of firing, many more people reported to be still inside. [12]
27 Nov10:30Gun battle reported from inside hotel.
27 Nov12:0050 people evacuated.
27 Nov16:30Terrorists set fire to a room on the 4th floor
27 Nov19:20More National Security Guards (NSG) commandos arrive, enter hotel.
28 Nov14:53Six bodies recovered.
28 Nov14:53 – 15:59Ten grenade explosions.
28 Nov15:00Marine commandos recover explosives from Taj.
28 Nov16:0012 to 15 bodies recovered from the Taj by naval commandos.
28 Nov19:30Fresh explosions and gunshots at Taj Hotel.
28 Nov20:30Report that one terrorist remains at the Taj.
29 Nov03:40 – 04:10Reports of five explosions at the Taj.
29 Nov04:20The Taj Mahal Hotel is reported to be completely under government control. [15]
29 Nov05:05Revised estimate of one terrorist remaining.
29 Nov07:30Fire raging on first floor. Black smoke on second floor. Gunshots heard frequently — apparent gun battle.
29 Nov08:00Indian commandos state that the Taj Hotel is now under control though they are still conducting room to room searches. People celebrate on the streets. [16]

At the Oberoi Trident

  Date  Estimated TimeEvent
27 Nov06:00Police don't do anything because they were not allowed to make decisions as situation was handed over to NSG.
27 Nov08:40Firing heard, head army, navy officers arrive and take stock.
27 Nov13:30Two small explosions. More reinforcements enter building.
27 Nov15:25Some foreign hostages rescued.
27 Nov17:35Jat regiment arrives, fierce gun battle.
27 Nov18:0027 hostages exit Air India building, four foreigners taken to hospital.
27 Nov18:45Explosion heard. Two NSG guards, 25 army personnel suspected injured. More people rescued, 31 in total.
27 Nov19:25Fire breaks out on 4th floor.
28 Nov10:00Many hostages evacuated from the Trident building.
28 Nov15:00Commando operations at Oberoi over, 24 bodies recovered. [17] 143 hostages rescued alive. Two terrorists are shot dead. [18] [19]

At Nariman House

  Date  Estimated TimeEvent
27 Nov07:00Police begin evacuating adjacent buildings.
27 Nov11:00Cross firing between terrorists and police; one terrorist injured.
27 Nov14:45Terrorists throw grenade into nearby lane; no casualties.
27 Nov17:30NSG commandos arrive, naval helicopter takes aerial survey.
27 Nov00:009 hostages are rescued from the first floor.
28 Nov07:30NSG commandos are inserted via fast-rope from helicopters onto the roof of Nariman house. [20] To prevent an attack on the commandos, snipers are positioned in nearby buildings.
28 Nov19:30Commandos find all 6 hostages, including the rabbi and his wife, tortured and murdered by the terrorists.
28 Nov20:30NSG commandos kill the 2 terrorists in a fierce gun battle and declare the operation over.

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  2. ExpressBuzz article about warnings to the Centre
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  20. Nariman House crisis heads for dramatic finish | Pics