On 26 November gunmen began a series of co-ordinated and multiple attacks that lasted for three days. They targeted two luxury hotels and other landmarks in the city of Mumbai . All the major attacks began at 21:20 local time.
9:28am: Indian commandos have killed two militants in the Trident-Oberoi hotel and regained control of the premises after a long siege, the chief of the elite National Security Guards tells reporters.
"The Oberoi Hotel and Trident are now under our control," JK Dutt said. "Oberoi, Trident have been evacuated, we have killed two terrorists."
10:00am: Here is a round-up of the Guardian's extensive coverage.
Our main story describes the assault on the militants in their last holdouts.
This is a video of the commando attack on the Jewish centre.
This piece provides a detailed account of how the attacks developed in the course of the night.
Suketu Mehta, in a comment piece, says the militants attacked his city because of its wealth.
10:11am: The Associated Press reports heavy gunfire and explosions breaking out at the besieged Jewish center in Mumbai.
10:16am: In an ominous development, the chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, has accused Pakistan of allowing the use of its sea routes for launching terror strikes against India.
"This is for the first time Pakistan has allowed use of sea routes to further terrorism against India," Modi said at the Oberoi-Trident hote, the Times of India reports.
10:25am: The Times of India has a strong editorial, headlined It's War. The paper concludes: "To tackle terror in India it is urgently necessary to stabilise Pakistan and Bangladesh. And, India should seek international help now to upgrade its own security apparatus, but also to stabilise the entire region stretching from Afghanistan to Bangladesh. There is no time to waste."
The militants certainly picked their time well if they intended to cause maximum mischief as the Pakistani government under Asif Ali Zadari is seeking to improve relations with India. The attack will have done nothing for attempts by India and Pakistan to find an entente cordiale. The Indian government will come under immense pressure from public opinion to lash out at someone. But surely it must try to avoid the mistakes of the Bush administration after 9/11, when it squandered massive sympathy around the world through its rash venture in Iraq.
The foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, is the latest top Indian official to blame Pakistan.
"According to preliminary information, some elements in Pakistan are responsible," the minister said. He said proof of that involvement "cannot be disclosed at this time," the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
10:38am: The Indian state home minister says one of the arrested militants is a Pakistani national, Reuters reports.
10:41am: Dawn provides a Pakistani perspective on the events in Mumbai. It is worth quoting at length.
It is ironical that the attacks came in the wake of the two-day talks between the home secretaries of Pakistan and India in Islamabad earlier in the week where cooperation in fighting terrorism came under discussion. Détente between the two neighbours does have the potential to curb the menace because militancy does not recognise borders and it is only logical to challenge it through a joint endeavour.
At another level, the latest serial blasts in the Indian financial capital also represent an immediate test for the resolve of the two sides not to indulge in a blame game every time something goes wrong on either side. It helps no one except the terrorists and it is time everyone realised this simple fact of life. Unfortunately, the burden of a hostile past often seems too big for the protagonists to shed in a hurry.
10:51am: Keith Bradsher, a New York Times correspondent, is sending updates from his BlackBerry as he watches the commando operation at the Nariman House, home to the ultra-Orthodox Chabad Lubavitch Jewish group,
10:55am: In a piece in the Guardian Paul Lewis remarks that in many cases Twitter updated developments faster than many TV networks or newspaper websites. He also points out, however, that the site also contained misleading threads, some of it purporting to be from intelligence sources and much of it unsourced.
11:01am: Pakistan is to send its intelligence chief to India to help in the Mumbai investigation, Reuters snaps.
Israel's Ambassador to India tells Times Now television that he believed six or more Israeli nationals were still being held hostage by gunmen at the Jewish centre.
"We are estimating, and it's pretty much an educated guess, somewhere around six, maybe a little bit more, but I don't have complete information on that," Mark Sofer said.
11:11am: An Economist editorial warns of a danger not just facing India but the world as a whole, at a time when al-Qaida has been on the back foot.
Killing fellow Muslims has been the group's biggest mistake. But countries where Muslims are in a minority may offer terrorists a better target. Many Muslims in such places feel marginalised, pushed to the fringes of society. Attacks there can provoke a backlash, feeding a sense of Muslim beleaguerment for al-Qaeda to exploit. This tactic has already worked in places such as Britain. If it succeeds in India, which has the biggest Muslim minority in the world, the implications for the global struggle against terrorism could be catastrophic.
11:24am: Salil Tripathi, who was born in Mumbai and now works as a journalist in London, praises the resilience of the city's residents but says the state has failed its people. He urges Indians to hold their government to account.
They must register their voice, they must protest, through the power the Indian constitution gives them, and elect a government that delivers, and not one that gets in through default, due to overall apathy. India has a phrase - chalta hai - this will go on. That must not do. Bombay's citizens cannot, and should not, go about being vigilantes. But they can be vigilant about their rights, through their right to vote.
If Bombay maintains its stride, if it continues to exude its characteristic warmth, it is in spite of those who rule it, and not because of them. The spirit of Bombay is a cliché - I have used it in the past, but I mean it as a compliment - and its citizens have earned it, and deserve to wear that medal. The shame is its politicians'.
11:36am: The Associated Press has more on Pakistan agreeing to help India with intelligence.
AP says the office of the Pakistani prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, agreed to send the head of the Inter Services Intelligence agency to India based on a request from his Indian counterpart. But a government statement said the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, told Gilani during a phone call that preliminary reports about the attack "point towards Karachi".
11:44am: The latest news from the scene is that the siege at the Oberoi hotel is over but that explosions and gunfire have continued intermittently at the Taj Mahal hotel. The siege at the Jewish centre continues. The death toll has gone up to 143.
11:50am: The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, says the UK authorities had "no knowledge" of any British links with the massacre. Her comments follow reports that British nationals may have been among the assailants.
A German MEP caught up in the attacks said she had heard that British nationals were among the terrorists involved in the killings, in what would be an intriguing twist to the story.
Erika Mann, a member of European parliament who was staying at the Taj Mahal hotel, is quoted by the Press Association.
"The attacks appear to have a European dimension. We have heard from journalists and other people we were with that English citizens took part in the attacks and were killed in the hotel. This information is not confirmed, however. We were told that they came in by boat."
The Guardian covers the British angle in this story by Angela Balakrishnan.
12:01pm: Randeep Ramesh in a Guardian audio reveals how the militants went around cutting the throats of those who had survived after being shot.
12:07pm: A top Indian official says eight foreigners were killed in the Mumbai attacks, the Associated Press reports.
12:10pm: There have been many stories about the heroic efforts of the staff at the two hotels to protect guests. This story describes how a member of staff shielded a family from gunfire.
12:16pm: The Evening Standard carries a story about the presence of British nationals among the attackers. It reports that two British-born Pakistanis were captured along with eight others.
Security sources have told the Standard that the attack is believed to be al Qaeda-linked and it is known that dozens of British-born Pakistanis have travelled to Pakistan in recent years to train in its camps. One source said recently: "The camps are full and many of the people inside are Brits."
12:23pm: The BBC's Ben Brown reporting live from the Taj Mahal hotel says there is a lot still going on as Indian forces move through the huge hotel, with loud explosions going off inside. "The situation is not yet resolved," he says.
12:26pm: Andrew Bettina, a British businessman staying at the Taj Mahal hotel, provides a vivid account of the tension and panic among guests as they realise that the hotel is under attack.
12:35pm: A commando tells the Times of India that the gunmen showed no remorse and shot at anyone that moved. The commando said he saw 15 bodies in one room.
12:46pm: The Guardian has an interactive map showing how the events unfolded.
12:49pm: Indian forces have blown a hole in a wall at the Jewish centre. The massive explosion has shattered windows in neighbouring buildings.
1:05pm: Open Democracy republishes an article by Ajai Sahni written in July when militants set off bombs in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat. The issues he raised then are even more pertinent now and echo points raised by Salil Tripathi.
The principal questions remains largely unasked: what has been done to diminish the likelihood of terrorist attacks, and beyond that how are any improvements in this direction being measured? Amid all the discussions about "red alerts" and "coordination committees" this critical variable never comes up for discussion - because the embarrassing (indeed humiliating) answer would be that nothing whatsoever has been done, so that there is nothing to measure.
1:09pm: Police say the siege at the Jewish centre is over, both Reuters and AP report.
1:27pm: Sky News is reporting that a large explosion has been heard at the Taj Mahal hotel.
(David Batty taking over from Mark Tran.)
1:30pm: Police say the operation at the Jewish centre is not yet over but is in its final stages. The head of India's national security guards says two hostages appear to have been killed in the siege.
J.K. Dutt also told Indian television that his commandos had killed two militants at the centre. "We have neutralised two terrorists," he said. "Along with that we have also found two bodies. Those bodies appear to be of hostages."
1:44pm: Seven members of India's national security guard have been killed in the anti-terrorist operations in Mumbia, according to the Press Trust of India.
2:00pm: An Israeli diplomat in Mumbai tells Reuters that five hostages were killed in the Jewish centre siege.
2:17pm: The bombings in Mumbai have once more focused attention on the issue of terrorism. In this respect, Gilles Keppel, a French terrorism expert, tells Foreign Policy magazine that he thinks al-Qaida is indeed fighting a losing battle. He is discussing the tape recently released by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida's second in command.
The tape is extremely important, because [al Qaida believed] that 9/11 would be a means to mobilize the Muslim masses against the West and to topple the [Middle Eastern] regimes. But they were totally unable to do it. I've monitored Zawahiri's statements between the fifth and the seventh anniversary of 9/11 to try to decipher his whole system of thought, to understand how it works. The more [strident] Zawahiri's discourse was, the less it was in tune with reality.
Within the ranks of radical Islamism, Zawahiri has been very, very violently criticized. There is a widespread feeling now that al Qaida's strategy has failed, because [critics] say Zawahiri has spilled Muslim blood. The Jews and Christians he may have killed were OK—halal—but the Muslim blood was not halal.
Mark Tran again. Thanks David.
2:37pm: Issam Ahmed on the Guardian's Comment is Free agues that India should not be so quick to point the finger at Pakistan.
If India truly wishes to pull the rug from beneath their (the terrorists) feet, it should start by addressing the growing economic disparities between the country's Hindu and Muslim population as outlined by the Sachar Commission (pdf).
2:53pm: The geopolitical website, Stratfor, says discussions are already taking place among senior Congress party officials in Delhi to amass troops along the border in Kashmir, a situation reminiscent of the Indian response to the 2001 parliamentary bombings that led to a near-nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan.
3:05pm: The Guardian has a picture gallery with striking photos of the Mumbai attacks.
3:26pm: This article in the Hindu highlights the dilemmas for the hotel business after the latest attacks.
The hotel was viewed as a symbol of western power and thus been the prime focus of terrorists... In the hospitality industry, a guest is treated like god, seldom subjected to frisking or scanning of luggage. This leaves hotels open to attacks like the ones in Mumbai, say experts.
Other hotels that have come under attack in recent years are the Serena hotel in Kabul, the Marriott in Islamabad and the Grand Hyatt in Amman, Jordan.
3:32pm: More shots fired at the Taj Mahal hotel, where six terrorists are believed to be holed up.
3:45pm: Jane Perlez in the New York Times writes that the Mumbai attacks will make it much harder for the Obama administration to pursue a policy of reconciliation between India and Pakistan.
Attacks as devastating as those that unfolded in Mumbai - whether ultimately traced to homegrown Indian militants or to others from abroad, or a combination - seem likely to sour relations, fuel distrust and hamper, at least for now, America's ambitions for reconciliation in the region.
4:23pm: NDTV is asking readers and viewers to send in their suggestions on how to best fight terrorism.
4:30pm: Paul Cornish at the Chatham House thinktank warns us against jumping to conclusions about the militants and their agenda - if they had one. In a piece entitled "Is this the age of celebrity terrorism", he writes:
Perhaps we have come to the point where casually self-radicalised, sociopathic individuals can form a loose organisation, acquire sufficient weapons and equipment for a few thousand dollars, make a basic plan of action and indulge in a violent expression of their generalised disaffection and anomie. These individuals indulge in terrorism simply because they can, while their audience concocts a rationale on their behalf.
4:45pm: The Chabad-Lubavitch group in New York have confirmed that a rabbi and his wife were among the dead hostages in the Jewish centre. Yesterday the centre's cook managed to flee the building with the couple's two-year-old child.
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!