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Indian Force Works To Control Hotel In Mumbai

Michele Norris: Va. Group Mourns Members
David Folkenflik: Vigil For Rabbi, Wife

Indian commandos are trying to flush the remaining few gunmen out of the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, where the sound of gunfire and explosions have been heard all day. Indian forces are said to be firing grenades in an effort to bring this week's militants attacks to an end.

The militants holed up in the Taj Mahal hotel are believed to be the last of the teams of gunmen who stormed at least 10 targets in Mumbai in the attacks that began Wednesday night. Indian forces are said to be firing grenades in an effort to bring this week's militants attacks to an end.

Early Friday, militants were holed up in three separate places, and many people were trapped. As the day ended, security forces had gained control of the Oberoi-Trident hotel and released hostages there.


The attacks have left at least 150 people dead in India's financial capital — including 15 foreigners. The U.S. State Department said Friday that five Americans are confirmed to be among the dead.

The Americans killed in the attacks include a Virginia man and his teenage daughter, and a rabbi from New York and his Israeli wife. Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg were found dead after Indian commandos stormed a Jewish community center in the city.

Alan Scherr, 58, and his daughter Naomi, 13, were shot and killed when gunmen opened fire in the cafe at the Oberoi hotel Wednesday. Twenty-five members of the Synchronicity Foundation — a meditation retreat center in rural Faber, Va. — had traveled to Mumbai for a tour of local ashrams.

As Bobbie Garvey, a spokesperson for Synchronicity, told Michele Norris, Naomi Scherr had hoped to use the trip as the basis for the essay portion of college applications.

An investigation has begun into the attacks, which an Indian official Friday blamed on what he called "some elements" in Pakistan. That country, India's rival and neighbor, is sending its intelligence chief to help with the investigation.


From NPR staff and wire reports.

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