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As world watches, Mumbai terror kills 148, enters final phase
Mumbai, Nov 29 (IANS)
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Published on 29 Nov. 2008 1:36 AM IST
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Indian commandos Friday night fought close combat with a handful of dogged terrorists still holed up at the iconic Taj hotel here after securing two other centres taken over by gunmen two nights ago, as the country’s longest terror drama killed 148 people and cast a shadow on relations with Pakistan.With 24 bodies recovered from the Oberoi-Trident hotel and all five hostages found murdered at the Nariman House Jewish centre, New Delhi and Islamabad were locked in a war of words over the suspected Pakistani links of the terrorists, including one taken alive by Indian security forces. But 50 hours after it all began Wednesday night, one or more terrorists continued to put up ferocious resistance to hundreds of commandos ahead of a final assault on the Taj, near the seaside Gateway of India monument. J.K. Dutt, who heads the National Security Guard (NSG), whose commandos have fought the terrorists since Thursday morning, put the number of dead in three days of mayhem at 143 — before the bodies of all five hostages were found along with those of two gunmen at the Jewish centre. Ten of the dead and 22 of the injured are foreigners. They included Israeli Rabbi Gavriel and his wife Rivka Holtzberg, directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai. Several terrorists, probably two dozen and armed with grenades and automatic rifles, sneaked Wednesday night into Mumbai, India’s financial and movie capital, by boat, presumably from Karachi. They divided themselves into several groups and quickly struck at 10 places in south Mumbai, including the Taj hotel, the nearby Oberoi-Trident hotel and the Jewish centre. Everywhere they opened indiscriminate fire and hurled grenades, killing people at will.

 
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