Friday, November 28, 2008
Commandos stormed a Jewish centre and a luxury hotel in Mumbai on Friday to retake them from Islamist militants on the third day of attacks on the Indian financial capital in which at least 130 people have died.
Elite troops slid down ropes from helicopters to breach the Jewish centre, killing two gunmen but failing to save the lives of five hostages, including a New York-based rabbi and his wife.
The commandos also cleared the Trident-Oberoi hotel and freed 143 hostages, including foreign tourists and businessmen who emerged with harrowing stories of the bloodshed inside. Two gunmen were killed.
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But at least one gunman was still holed up in the Taj hotel. Explosions and gunfire erupted regularly as he dodged the commandos through a maze of corridors and rooms.
The militants’ action has struck at the heart of the freewheeling city, engine room of an economic boom that has made India a favourite emerging market. It is also home to the “Bollywood” film industry, the epitome of glamour in a country still blighted with widespread poverty.
The attackers have not precisely spelled out the reasons and aims for the assault. But it has raised new tension between India and old foe Pakistan.
This article was posted: Friday, November 28, 2008 at 1:08 pm