UPI : Mumbai bears brunt of violence in India

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai bears brunt of violence in India

November 26, 2008

MUMBAI, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Mumbai, whose heart and suburbs are home to 20 million people, is India's money and business capital but also its main target of violence and terrorism.

The latest confirmation of that came overnight when a number of heavily armed gunmen went on an hours-long killing spree throughout the city that left more than 300 dead and wounded. It was one of the worst terror attacks the country has witnessed.

A BBC report said in the past 20 years the western port city, which is the capital of Maharashtra state and home to the world's largest cinema industry, called Bollywood, has been the scene of communal riots, bomb attacks, gang violence and political assassinations.

In the latest attacks, the targets included the one of the world's busiest rail stations, hotels and restaurants frequented by locals and visiting business leaders, the report said. It said the attackers may have wanted to bring down business confidence and deter foreigners from investing in the booming economy of the world's largest democracy.

The report quoted some as raising a question whether the attacks were also designed to undermine latest efforts to improve ties between India and Pakistan.

A CNN report said the attacks came just after Asif Ali Zardari, the new Pakistani president, went farther than any of his predecessors in expressing a desire for better ties with India. Zardari was quoted as saying he would even like to see the two nuclear powers jointly fight terrorism.