Guest Aloysius Posted November 28, 2008 Report Share Posted November 28, 2008 Just thought someone should mention it here:' Indian Forces Battle Gunmen in Effort to Rescue Hostages Father, Daughter From Virginia Among the 145 People Killed in Mumbai By Emily Wax, Rama Lakshmi and Debbi Wilgoren Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, November 28, 2008; 12:34 PM MUMBAI, Nov. 28 -- A father and daughter from Virginia were among at least 145 people killed in the brazen attacks on luxury hotels and other sites in this seaside city, which began late Wednesday and had not been fully controlled nearly 48 hours later. At a Jewish outreach center, a young Israeli-American rabbi, his wife and three others affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement also were reported killed. Hundreds of hostages were evacuated from two luxury hotels Friday, as police commandos struggled to wrest control of the buildings from bands of gunmen who had staged what appeared to be carefully orchestrated strikes on high-profile targets. As the government of India consulted with counter-terrorism officials worldwide, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee pointed a finger directly at Pakistan, India's neighbor and longtime rival, saying: "Based on preliminary information, and prima facie evidence we have, elements of Pakistan are linked to this." Indian officials told reporters two gunmen had been captured who were British citizens of Pakistani origin. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned India not to "be jingoist" and said the two nuclear armed countries "are facing a common enemy, and we have to join hands to defeat this enemy." The prime ministers of both countries were slated to confer Friday night. The Virginia father and daughter who were killed were identified as Alan Scherr, 58, and Naomi Scherr, 13. They were members of Synchronicity, a spiritual community in central Virginia that promotes high-tech meditation and a holistic lifestyle, and had traveled to India on a spiritual mission with about two dozen others. Indian police said they had defeated the gunmen at the Oberoi Hotel and were rooting out a small number of armed attackers at the iconic Taj Mahaj Palace & Tower Hotel, evacuating more than 200 hostages from both hotels in the process. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hassan Ghafoor said police teams had found 30 bodies inside the Oberoi by midday Friday. Hundreds of people were reported injured at the hotels and the other targeted sites -- including a movie theater, two hospitals, a train station, the historic Leopold Café and the Nariman House, a Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish outreach center that offers Jewish classes, prayer services and kosher food to locals and travelers from around the world. Two journalists were reported hurt in the skirmishes that followed the attacks, either from flying shrapnel or a passing bullet. At the Nariman House, a daylong rooftop assault by commandos culminated in an explosion late in the day, followed by a flurry of police and military activity. Security officials on the scene said five hostages were found dead inside the building. A Chabad spokesman, Rabbi Zalman Schmotkin, identified two of the dead as Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, both of whom were reportedly born in Israel but raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The couple ran the center. The Holtzbergs' toddler son, Moshe, was led out of the building by two employees of the center on Thursday, and is being cared for by his grandparents. Intelligence officials said the gunmen who launched the coordinated attacks appeared well trained and well prepared, familiar with the layouts of their targets in a way that gave them a great advantage over police. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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