No. 5 Mumbai 2006
While the attacks on Mumbai on Novembmer 27 were shocking and appalling, unfortuantely it was hardly the first time India's financial hub has experienced such terror. Far from it, in fact. There were at least two other incidents in Mumbai where the death toll exceeded 200. Once in March 1993 and just two years ago, a series of bombs went off within an 11-minute span on the crowded Mumbai commuter trains, claiming 209 lives and injuring over 700. On July 11, 2006, seven bombs were set off by pre-deposited pressure cookers and the timing, during the evening rush hour, inflicted maximum casaulties. Initially, Indian authorities suspected involvement by Lashkar and Students Islamic Movement of India, a banned domestic terrorist group, as well as affliiation with the Pakistani secret service ISI. The bombings had a brief chilling effect on Indian-Pakistani relations after signs of a thaw. Three days after the attacks, India announced that it would suspend talks with Pakistan until President Pervez Musharraf abides by his 2004 pledge to end all support to cross-border terrorism. But within two months, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh re-started talks with Musharraf's government, stating that ending the three-year long peace process would signal a victory for the separatist terrorists. India, a country with a 150 million minority Muslim population and flanked by Islamic nations Pakistan and Bangladesh following the 1947 partition, continues to experience sporadic terrorist act often inflamed by religious grievances. The brazen attacks on November 27 unfortunately were simply the latest episode.