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10 fidayeen attacks that shocked the nation

January 06, 2016 15:11 IST

Usually misconstrued as suicide terrorism, fidayeen attacks are carried out by well-trained terrorists to wreck as much havoc as possible at a selected target, inflicting as many casualties as possible before being killed.

The Indian Army, the Border Security Force, Hindu temples and the people of India, all have been targetted by fidayeen from Pakistan. The latest being the attack at the Pathankot airbase, which lasted more than 96 hours.

IMAGE: A paramilitary trooper keeps a vigil from atop an armoured vehicle in Srinagar in this photograph taken in November 1999. Photograph: Reuters


November 3, 1999: Srinagar

on November 3, 1999, fidayeen attacked the army corps headquarters in Badami Bagh, Srinagar.

The attack took the life of Major Pramod Purshottam, a popular officer.

The major -- the first senior officer of the Indian Army killed in a fidayeen attack -- died while trying to save lives of three journalists who had come to meet him.

Before this, the first-ever such attack took place in Bandipoora in Jammu and Kashmir on a BSF camp in which a deputy inspector general and four security personnel were killed.

February 9, 2001: Srinagar

IMAGE: Soldiers stand guard on the banks of the Dal Lake in the heart of Srinagar in this photograph taken in February 2001. Photograph: Reuters


A police control room was attacked at Batmaloo in Srinagar by Lashkar-e-Tayiba fidayeen.

One policeman was killed and eight others were injured.

Until then, the terrorists had been attacking the Indian Army or the BSF, but never the J&K police/ This time, the fidayeen wanted to send out a message that no one in the security forces was safe.

September 17, 2001: Kupwara

IMAGE: Army personnel during an operation at Cherkote forest near the Pakistan border in Kupwara, September 2001. Photograph: Fayaz Kabli/Reuterss

This fidayeen attack occurred six days after the 9/11 attacks.

This time, the target was the J&K police's elite Special Operations Group. Fidayeen stormed the SOG camp at Handwara in northern Kupwara district around midnight and killed nine policemen.

October 1, 2001: J&K assembly

IMAGE: A policeman searches the site of the car bomb explosion outside the entrance of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly in Srinagar, October 2, 2001. Photograph: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

A fortnight after the previous attack, on October 1, 2001, the J&K assembly was attacked by Jaish-e-Mohammed fidayeen.

Three fidayeen rammed their SUV into the assembly complex.

Thirty-eight civilians died in the attack.

December 13, 2001: Parliament, New Delhi

IMAGE: Staffers point to a terrorist inside the Parliament complex, December 13, 2001. Photograph: Reuters

Parliament was the next target of the fidayeen on December 13, 2001.

Five fidayeen arrived at India's temple of democracy and fired indiscriminately.

Fourteen security personnel died in the attack, not before killing all the terrorists before they could storm Parliament and hold MPs captive.

After the attack, the Indian and Pakistan armies have a six-month standoff at the border and were close to war.

September 24, 2002: Akshardham Temple, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

IMAGE: Border Security Force personnel patrol the Akshardham temple complex after commandos killed the terrorists, September 24, 2002. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

The Akshardham temple was attacked in Gandhinagar by two fidayeen on September 24, 2002.

Thirty-three pilgrims died.

Six Indians were arrested and charged with helping the terrorists, but were acquitted by Supreme Court on May 16, 2014.

March 30, 2002: Raghunath Temple, Jammu

IMAGE: Security personnel outside the Raghunath Temple, Jammu, March 2002. Photograph: Reuters

In the attack, 11 people died and 20 others were injured.

In the same year, on November 24, a fidayeen attack killed 14 devotees and injured 45 people.

November 26, 2008: Mumbai

IMAGE: Soldiers take positions at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, November 29, 2008. Photograph: Desmond Boylan/Reuters

On November 26, 2008, 10 LeT fidayeen entered Mumbai by sea.

They fired indiscriminately at the Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus and attacked city landmarks like the Taj and Oberoi hotels.

Nine fidayeen were killed. Ajmal Kasab, who was caught alive, was hanged on November 21, 2012.

Pakistan has refused to hand over LeT founder Muhammed Saeed and his henchman Zaki-ur Rehman, masterminds of the attacks.

July 28, 2015: Gurdaspur, Punjab

IMAGE: Policemen take positions next to a police station at Dinanagar, Gurdaspur, July 27, 2015. Photograph: Munish Sharma/Reuters

Punjab came onto the radar of the fidayeen last year.

The fidayeen had targetted Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Maharashtra, but not Punjab.

The fidayeen attacked a police station in Gurdaspur. The operation lasted nearly 12 hours.

Three civilians and four policemen were killed in the attack.

January 2, 2016: Pathankot

IMAGE: Security personnel during their operation against the terrorists at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, January 4, 2016. Photograph: PTI

The attack came a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Lahore.

Six fidayeen, dressed in Indian Army uniforms, entered the Indian Air Force's Pathankot base.

The operation lasted more than 96 hours. Seven security personnel were killed.

Syed Firdaus Ashraf /