1,000 could have been killed, says expert

The terrorist group of 26/11 attack could have brought down an even deadly havoc and add more lives to the death toll given the amount of weapons they carried, experts reveal.

It may be recalled that just after the attacks, the then deputy chief minister and home minister the late R R Patil had claimed that the terrorists had planned to kill 5,000 people.

However, military experts and intelligence operatives said that this would have been possible only when the condition was extremely ideal.

But given the arms and ammunition, they were carrying, they could have easily killed nearly 1,000 people and injured hundreds, they said.

A glance into the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police reveals that in total the terrorists were carrying 10 deadly Kalashnikov rifles, around 2,400 rounds of AKs, 10 pistols, 140 rounds of pistols nearly 80 to 100 hand grenades, 80 kg of RDX and 10 daggers.

“Given the situation of Mumbai and the crowd here, they could have killed nearly 1,000 people and injured several others,” said Col (retd) M P Choudhary, a battle-hardened veteran who formed the Special Group and Anti-Hijack Squad that later became National Security Guards (NSG).

“Their (terrorists) aim was to kill people over a span of time. They wanted to prolong the battle for several hours. Instead of killing 1,000 to 1,500 people at one go, they wanted to kill 400 to 500 people over four to five days and engage police and security forces. That was their basic motive to gain maximum international mileage,” a senior intelligence department official said.

Col Choudhary pointed out that, under ideal circumstances the rapid fire at crowded places could have killed 500 people and one grenade could have injured nearly 50 people, if it was properly targeted.

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