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Mumbai Mourns the Dead from Terrorist Attacks


Funerals are still being held in Mumbai, a week after 10 terrorists opened fire in several popular locations. The attackers killed more than 170 people and injured several hundred others. VOA's Carolyn Presutti takes us through the horror of that night.

A nation of many faiths lights candles and offers prayers for the dead in Mumbai.

Among the dead, Kia Scherr's husband and daughter. They were on a spiritual journey with members of an American meditation center. Kia remembers her daughter as a typical 13 year old.

"We had a lot of discussion about [body] piercings as she saw all kinds of creative ways to pierce," Scherr recalls. "And finally she was going to India and she said, 'At least in India, a nose piercing?' And we said okay."

Indian investigators say they are learning more about the three day siege that began with coordinated attacks and ended in with more than 170 dead. Only one gunman was captured alive.

Reports say 21-year-old Ajmal Amir Qasab told them he is a member of a Pakistani Islamist group, Lashkar-e-Taiba and that he and the nine other terrorists trained, military style, for more than a year.

Media reports say some of them arrived from Pakistan in a rubber dingy after killing an Indian boat crew. They landed with rifles, pistols, grenades, cellphones and dried fruit, and broke up into four groups.

The shooting began at Cafe Leopold, popular with backpackers. The owner of the cafe says it was chaos. "They were just randomly firing," Farzad Shehriyar Jahani said.

In a security video from another target, the train station, you can see the people ducking to avoid bullets and backing away.

Then they set fires in the Taj Hotel and went room-to-room, shooting people at close range. Michael and Anjalie Pollack decided to run different ways to give their children a chance of having one surviving parent. "I was so sure I wasn't coming back," she said. "I just hoped he was going to go home for the kids."

In the end, both parents survived. But, the funerals continue and, prayers for the Indian city that endured 60 hours of terror.

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