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|Akshardham Temple attack|
|Location||Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India|
Tuesday, September 24–25, 2002 |
|Attack type||massacre, mass murder, religious violence|
|Deaths||33 (including the perpetrators)|
|Perpetrators||2, names unknown|
The Akshardham Temple attack or Akshardham Temple siege occurred on September 25, 2002 when two heavily armed terrorists arrived at the Akshardham Monument in Gandhinagar, the capital of Western Gujarat state in India at around 1630 hrs local time. They scaled the perimeter fence and opened fire, killing a woman and a temple volunteer immediately. About 600 devotees were in the temple at the time. By the end of the attack, 29 devotees were killed and another 79 devotees were wounded. Apart from the 25 people killed in the first assault, 1 state police officer and 1 commando also died in the action. One more seriously injured commando Surjan Singh Bhandari who died after nearly 2 years of being in a coma.
Around 50 people were trapped inside the building and quick action of the volunteers in the temple denied the attackers access to people inside. The National Security Guard (NSG) commandos commonly called 'black cats' intervened to end the siege in an operation called vajra shakti. All 50 trapped personnel were rescued and released after identity checks.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, requested mercy for these Muslim extremists.
David Headley's confession
In 2010, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) associate David Headley, who was arrested in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks, reportedly confessed to the National Investigation Agency that an LeT militant named Muzammil planned and conducted the Akshardham Temple attack, in addition to the Chittisinghpura massacre of Sikhs in Kashmir.
- List of hostage crises
- Akshardham (Gandhinagar)
- Allegations of state terrorism committed by Pakistan
- Lashkar behind Sikh massacre in Kashmir in 2000, says Headley. Hindustan Times. 25 October 2010.