Breaking News

3:56pm UK, Friday November 28, 2008

Indian commandos have killed two terrorists at the Jewish Centre in Mumbai - but five hostages are also dead.



Bystanders gather around a commando outside the Jewish Centre


An Israeli diplomat, speaking to Israeli TV from the scene, said: "Five bodies of hostages have been found inside the Chabad House. We still don't know whose bodies."
Mumbai's police chief confirmed five hostages were found dead.
It is understood at least six people were being held hostage inside the centre, including a rabbi and his wife.
A crowd gathered outside the headquarters of the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] outreach group Chabad Lubavitch earlier thought the siege was over when the commandos emerged with their rifles raised.
But the chief of India's National Security Guards JK Dutttold the crowd the operation was not over - but was in its final stages.
Sky's foreign affairs correspondent Lisa Holland, outside the centre in south [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] (formerly Bombay), said the situation on the ground had been confusing.
"The crowd gathered here thought the situation was over," she said.
"Then we had an extraordinary scene where the police chief got on a loud speaker and told them all to calm down, as it was all still ongoing."

Sky's Alex Crawford at Taj hotel


Meanwhile, firing has intensified at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel where commandos are battling another group of terrorists.
Sky's India correspondent Alex Crawford, who is within yards of the hotel, says gunshots and grenades are being fired inside and outside the building.
"The gunfire appears to be coming from the window of the second floor. They (the attackers) are really going for it this time to show they really mean business," she said.
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But Crawford says intelligent sources claim up to six militants are still holed up inside the hotel building.
"At one stage there was firing out of two separate windows. So we knew that was not true early on," she said.
"They (the authorities) appear to have such little control of the situation.
"The situation clearly hasn't finished - a lot of action is still happening and small arms fire is ongoing."

Commandos in critical phase


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With his face disguised by a scarf and sunglasses, one commando said he had seen around 50 dead bodies in the building and explosives capable of causing "major damage".
The wave of terror attacks began more than 36 hours earlier after small groups of [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], armed with automatic weapons and grenades, entered the city by boat and fanned out.
They burst into two hotels, a hospital and a railway station as well as a cafe popular with foreign tourists, firing indiscriminately and throwing grenades.
At least 143 people have been killed and 370 people have been wounded, including at least seven Britons.
Two [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] citizens, Alan and Naomi Scherr of [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], were confirmed to have been killed in the attacks, along with two [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] nationals.
Hundreds of people were held captive at the Taj Mahal Palace and Trident-Oberoi hotels, many locking themselves in their rooms as the gunmen roamed the buildings.

Attackers had assault rifles


Police say up to 100 people, most of them foreigners, have been released from the Trident-Oberoi.
One of the evacuated guests, Muneer al Mahaj, was in a room on the fourth floor when the terrorists stormed in.
He said: "I cannot believe what I have seen in the last 36 hours. I have seen dead bodies, blood everywhere and only heard gunshots."
Businessman Andreas Liveras spoke to the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] media as he was held hostage in the basement of the Taj Mahal Palace.
Hours later the 73-year-old shipping tycoon, from Nottinghamshire, was caught in a crossfire and killed.
His brother Theophanis Liveras told Sky News he frequently travelled to India on business.
"I believe he felt very safe travelling to Mumbai, and he was happy to do business there," he said.

British victim: Andreas Liveras


The terrorists' main targets appeared to be Americans, Britons and Jews, though most of the dead seemed to be Indians and foreign tourists caught in the random gunfire.
The gunmen - some of whom strode casually through their targets wearing khakis and T-shirts - clearly came ready for a siege.
So far only one gunman - a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] national - has been arrested.
It has also been reported by an Indian TV channel that some of the gunmen are believed to be "British citizens of Pakistani origin".
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] said: "I'm afraid I don't have any information about that at the moment.
"Obviously, the priority of the Indian authorities is to complete this operation. They can then start identifying who are the terrorists, what is their background.
"We obviously will want to work very, very closely with the Indians on that, but it is too early to say whether or not any of them are British."
India's Foreign Minister [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has blamed "elements in Pakistan" for the attacks - the first time the Indian government has specifically named the neighbouring country as having a role in the slaughter.
However, Pakistan's defence minister has insisted his country had played no role in the attacks.
The location of the co-ordinated attacks:



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Meanwhile, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has said Metropolitan Police officers have gone to Mumbai to help the Indian authorities.
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Several British survivors have been speaking of their shock as they return home.
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He said: "I could hear people shouting and screaming. Straight after there was blood everywhere. My friend had got shot in the leg and everyone else around me was getting hit, some shot in the head."
The [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] says those concerned about their British friends and relatives should call +44 (0)20 700 800 00 and all Britons in Mumbai should stay indoors.







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