The magnitude of the attack by suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba elements, who are believed to have come by the sea route from Karachi, could be gauged from the statement of Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra R R Patil who said with the ammunition the terrorists had, they could have killed 5,000 people.Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the alleged perpetrators' organization:
The elimination of the three terrorists in Taj came this morning after intense battle between the commandos, who believed there was a lone gunman holding out, and the terrorists who kept exploding grenades at periodic intervals.
Of the 183 killed, civilians alone accounted for 141 including 22 foreigners, two NSG commandos, 15 Maharashtra police personnel, one RPF constable and two Home Guards. Six NSG personnel were injured.
In all, nine terrorists were killed while one was captured alive in "Operation Tornado" executed by the NSG alongwith the army and naval commandos and Maharashtra police. The security forces rescued 250 people in Oberoi, 300 in Taj and 12 families of 60 people in Nariman House.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (Urdu: لشكرِ طيبه laškar-ĕ ṯaiyyiba; literally Army of the Good, commonly translated as Army of the Righteous; also transliterated as Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba or Lashkar-i-Taiba) is one of the largest and most active terrorist organizations in South Asia.More info from the Federation of American Scientists:
It was founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, and is currently based near Lahore, Pakistan operating several militant training camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiba members have carried out major attacks against India and its primary objective is to end Indian rule in Kashmir. Some breakaway Lashkar members have also been accused of carrying out attacks in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, to mark its opposition to the policies of President Pervez Musharraf. The organization is banned as a terrorist organization by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia. According to some sources, Laskar-e-Taiba renamed itself to Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JUD) in January 2002 to escape the ban imposed by the Pakistani government.
StrengthWill Obama give India a green light to bomb Pakistan? For background, see James Kurth's article on returning Pakistan to India.
Has several hundred members in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and in India’s southern Kashmir and Doda regions. Almost all LT cadres are foreigners—mostly Pakistanis from madrassas across the country and Afghan veterans of the Afghan wars. Uses assault rifles, light and heavy machineguns, mortars, explosives, and rocket-propelled grenades.
Location/Area of Operation
Based in Muridke (near Lahore) and Muzaffarabad. The LT trains its militants in mobile training camps across Pakistan-administered Kashmir and had trained in Afghanistan until fall of 2001.
Collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic NGOs, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. The LT also maintains a Web site (under the name of its parent organization Jamaat ud-Daawa), through which it solicits funds and provides information on the group’s activities. The amount of LT funding is unknown. The LT maintains ties to religious/military groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya through the MDI fraternal network. In anticipation of asset seizures by the Pakistani Government, the LT withdrew funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and production of consumer goods.