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Taj hotel reopens after 26/11 attacks
MUMBAI, AUG 15 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 15 Aug. 2010 11:29 PM IST
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The iconic Taj Mahal hotel, which was severely damaged in the 2008 terror attacks, fully reopened on Sunday with hundreds of people thronging its newly renovated lobbies and restaurants.
The 107-year-old Taj Mahal hotel -- an elegant, sea-facing structure -- was one of the main targets of the three-day rampage across India’s financial capital by 10 young men armed with assault rifles and grenades. Its famous dome was singed by flames and its walls and windows were shattered and pocked with gunfire.
The 60-hour siege, which also targeted another luxury hotel, a Jewish center, a popular restaurant and the city’s crowded main train station, left 166 people dead across the city, 31 of them at the Taj Hotel. The damage to the hotel’s heritage wing took over 22 months to repair and cost nearly 1.75 billion rupees (USD 37 million). A newer wing of the hotel opened for business just three weeks after the attacks.
The heritage wing, which opened Sunday to coincide with India’s 64th Independence Day, has 285 rooms with prices that start at USD 625 a night, reported ZeeNews.
“Nearly two years ago, our world was torn apart,” Raymond Bickson, the managing director of the Indian Hotels Co., Ltd. that runs the Taj Group of hotels, told reporters earlier this week. “We were not defeated. We resolved to be better than ever.”
Bickson said the hotel had revamped its security arrangements to ensure the safety of its guests and staff.
India blames the attacks on the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and has called on Pakistan to crack down on terrorists thought to be operating from their soil.
Authorities captured the lone surviving gunman during the attack and earlier this year a special court sentenced him to death.

 
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