Saturday, November 29, 2008

Five hostages killed at Jewish centre

From The Australian, by John Lyons November 29, 2008:

THE bodies of five Israeli hostages seized by Islamic militants were recovered early today from a Jewish centre in Mumbai after it was stormed by Indian commandos.

"Five bodies of hostages have been found. They are Israeli nationals,'' said Eli Belotsercovsky, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.

The Press Trust of India quoted Indian national security guard chief J.K. Dutt as saying the militant gunman had killed the hostages during the commando assault on the building. "We had taken over the second floor of the house when a grenade was launched from above. Three hostages were killed by terrorists,'' Dutt said. As the armed unit moved upstairs, the militants killed another two hostages on the fourth floor, he added.

...Israel is believed to have considered sending in its own team of commandos to rescue a group of Israeli citizens trapped inside the Jewish centre in Mumbai. ... the Indians...declined Tel Aviv's offer of troops, and by Israeli ambassador to India Mark Sofer.

...The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli military officials were critical of the Indian security forces, saying they had stormed the area prematurely. The paper quoted Israeli officials as saying the Indian counter-terrorist forces were well-trained "but failed to gather sufficient intelligence before engaging the terrorists ... it appears the forces showed up at the scene and immediately began exchanging fire with the terrorists instead of first taking control of the area ...'' ....

...The Jerusalem Post reported that under a defence agreement due to be signed soon, the Israeli Defence Forces will send commandos to India to provide training in counter-terrorism, urban warfare and guerilla tactics.
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