Hostages Found Dead In Mumbai Jewish Center
The number of dead from a spate of militant attacks across India's financial capital, Mumbai, rose to 150 on Friday, after commandos who stormed the headquarters of a Jewish sect discovered the bodies of five hostages inside.
Four Americans are also among the dead in about 10 attacks that started Wednesday night and which India has blamed on Islamic extremists. The main targets were the Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi luxury hotels, which are frequented by foreign and Indian business travelers.
Officials said the Americans were among 22 foreigners killed in the attacks.
Indian commandos emerged from the Mumbai Jewish center late Friday with their assault rifles raised. Inside, though, were five dead hostages, according to Israel's ZAKA emergency medical services unit, which entered the building after the raid and reported through an Indian aide that five hostages and two gunmen were dead.
A Brooklyn-based rabbi and his wife were among those killed in the siege.
"Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the beloved directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, were killed during one of the
worst terrorist attacks to strike India in recent memory," the Chabad's New York headquarters said in a statement.
By Friday evening, at least nine gunmen had been killed, one had been arrested and as many as six were still in the Taj Mahal, said R. Patil, a top official in Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is the capital. He said more than 150 people had been killed and 370 injured.
Meanwhile, operations were ongoing at Mumbai's famed five-star Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Navy commandos told reporters that gunmen inside the Taj were firing indiscriminately — and that they seemed very familiar with the layout of the hotel.
Earlier, India's National Security Guard said it had taken control of the Oberoi Hotel. Guests who had been holed up since Wednesday emerged from the hotel and another two dozen bodies were recovered inside.
The well-coordinated strikes by small bands of gunmen starting Wednesday night left the city shell-shocked. Late Thursday, after about 400 people had been brought out of the Taj, officials said it had been cleared of gunmen.
From NPR staff and wire reports
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.