Terrorism is absolute evil and has no place in today’s world, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday after paying tributes to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack at the city’s Taj Hotel, ANI reported.

Guterres is on a three-day visit to India. This is his first visit to the country since he started his second term as the UN secretary-general.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday morning, Guterres said that fighting terrorism was the central priority for the UN. He also offered condolences to the families of the victims of the 2008 terror attack in which 166 persons had been killed.

“They are heroes of our world,” Guterres said. “I want to express my deepest condolences to their families, to their friends, to the people of India and to all those from other parts of the world who lost their lives in Mumbai.”

On November 26, 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists took a sea route from Pakistan to Mumbai and carried out a dozen coordinated shooting and bombing attacks at various major landmarks across the city.

At another event at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, Guterres urged India to continue speaking up for peace and expand its global leadership.

“India has a responsibility to shape global human rights, and to protect and promote the rights of all individuals, including members of minority communities,” he said at the United Nations Day Public Lecture on the partnership between India and the global body.