"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

High prices feed fury in Ankara

Congo rebel chief says "war" if no talks with government

JOMBA, Congo-Congolese Tutsi rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda threatened war Saturday unless Congo's government entered a new round of talks with him.Nkunda, whose forces have routed government troops and gained swathes of territory in North Kivu province in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo since launching a new offensive in August, has repeatedly demanded negotiations.Nkunda said he had been told by the U.N. special envoy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, that Kinshasa had accepted the principle of talks."If there is no negotiation, let us say then there is war," Nkunda told reporters after meeting Obasanjo in the rebel commander's native village, Jomba."I know that (the government) has no capacity to fight, so they have only one choice: negotiations," he said."We asked for a response as to where, when, and with whom we are going to do these talks. For us, we propose Nairobi and for the mediator we proposed chief Obasanjo."Video footage of the meeting provided by the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, MONUC, showed Obasanjo criticizing Nkunda for recent hostilities, including Thursday's capture of the town of Ishasha, on the border with Uganda."What has happened in the last 14 days has not made me happy," Obasanjo said, rising to his feet to address Nkunda, who remained seated at a low table."I tried to build a relationship of trust, but I don't receive the same from you."Obasanjo said Nkunda should have informed him he was planning fresh offensives."You are making me a laughing stock," he said.Nkunda, who wore a white robe with matching shoes and scarf, wrung his hands said the ceasefire he had declared applied only to fighting against the Congolese army, not against what he described as "foreign negative forces."That ceasefire has brought nearly two weeks of relative calm. But his men have continued attacking Congolese and Rwandan militia allies of the government.
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Hundreds Dead in Postelection Riots in Nigeria

JOS, Nigeria-Death toll in Nigeria sectarian riots rises to at least 153 as bodies arrive at town mosque.Mobs behind Nigeria's worst sectarian fighting in years burned homes, churches and mosques Saturday in a second day of riots. Twenty bodies bearing fresh wounds were prepared for burial at the Jos central mosque as troops sent to restore calm received orders to shoot any troublemakers on sight.Authorities imposed an around-the-clock curfew in the hardest-hit areas of the central Nigerian city, where traditionally pastoralist Hausa Muslims live in tense, close quarters with Christians from other ethnic groups.The fighting began as clashes between supporters of the region's two main political parties following the first local election in the town of Jos in more than a decade. But the violence expanded along ethnic and religious fault lines, with Hausas and members of Christian ethnic groups doing battle.The hostilities mark the worst clashes in the restive West African nation since a 2006 outbreak left 127 people dead. Angry mobs gathered Thursday in Jos after electoral workers failed to publicly post results in ballot collation centers, prompting many onlookers to assume the vote was the latest in a long line of fraudulent Nigerian elections.Riots flared Friday morning and at least 15 people were killed in the violence. Local ethnic and religious leaders made radio appeals for calm on Saturday, and streets were mostly empty by early afternoon.Jos, the capital of Plateau State, has a long history of community violence that has made it difficult to organize voting. Rioting in September 2001 killed more than 1,000 people.The city is situated in Nigeria's "middle belt," where members of hundreds of ethnic groups commingle in a band of fertile and hotly contested land separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south.The latest violence is the worst since the May 2007 inauguration of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who came to power in a vote that international observers dismissed as not credible.Few Nigerian elections have been deemed free and fair since independence from Britain in 1960, and military takeovers have periodically interrupted civilian rule.More than 10,000 Nigerians have died in sectarian violence since civilian leaders took over from a former military junta in 1999. Political strife over local issues is common in Nigeria, where government offices control massive budgets stemming from the country's oil industry.
As in the days of Noah...

Indian Authorities Hunt for Terror Group Responsible for Massacre in Mumbai

Indian investigators, with the help of FBI agents, a Pakistani intelligence official and other foreign experts, are fanning out in their hunt for any remaining terrorists tied to the brutal attacks in the country's financial capital that killed at least 195 people and injured more than 300.The terrorists' final siege ended Saturday morning-two-and-a-half days after the attacks began-but the efforts to determine who carried out the attacks have only begun.Officials said they believe just 10 well-prepared gunmen were behind the attacks, and India's NDTV reports that the gunmen had intended to kill as many as 5,000 and had planned to blow up the Taj Majal hotel."Nine were killed and one was captured," Maharshta state Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh told reporters."We are interrogating him." Another official said the captured attacker is Pakistani and the gunmen were constantly in touch with a foreign country.Local media have labeled the massacre "India's 9/11." The country is hardly a stranger to terrorism, but the attacks on 10 sites in Mumbai have shaken the country with their violent intensity and brazenness, the extent of which only now is fully coming to light.Local newspapers report that before the attacks, some of the terrorists had checked into the landmark 565-room Taj Mahal hotel, the site of their final standoff against Indian commandos. A spokesperson for the hotel, however, said there were no indications that any staff members were involved.There also were reports that the terrorists had arrived in Mumbai by sea after hijacking fishing trawlers. The Indian navy said it was investigating whether a trawler found driving off the coast of Mumbai, with a bound corpse on board, was used in the attack.Indian security officers believe many of the gunmen may have reached the city using a black and yellow rubber dinghy found near the site of the attacks.The gunmen were well-prepared, apparently scouting some targets ahead of time and carrying large bags of almonds to keep up their energy.The Times of India reports that one gunman arrested in the attacks suggested the terrorists thought they'd escape alive, possibly with the help of a GPS programmed with an escape route, though those details haven't been confirmed.The newspaper also reports that bodies are arriving at JJ Hospital, and staff members are struggling to cope with the numbers. The death toll could rise to 300.Among the dead are 18 foreigners, including 6 Americans. Early in the siege, eyewitnesses said gunmen had called out in search of targets with American and British passports.The motive behind the attacks, however, remains mostly a mystery.India has linked the attack to "elements" in Pakistan, raising the prospect of an alarming breakdown of peace talks between the South Asian nations...
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As in the days of Noah...

Mumbai Gunman Was 'Smiling'

A British politician barely escaped the siege of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. But as he was escaping, Sajjad Karim said one of the gunmen smiled as he started to fire his weapon in the lobby...

India Siege Ends,Death Toll Rises

"Tales of Heroism":Mumbai Hotel Staffers Hailed as Heroes

Pakistan-Based Terrorists Suspected in Mumbai Attack

Little is known about the terrorist group that calls itself Deccan Mujahideen and claimed responsibility for the series of attacks Wednesday, in Mumbai, India, that left more than 150 dead, including as many as six Americans.So far, most security analysts, intelligence experts and news reports have focused on two potential culprits: Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group in Pakistan, and Indian Mujahideen, a shadowy organization in India. Lashkar is the leading contender, a U.S. counterterrorism official told FOX News, though the group denied any role in the attacks."Lashkar-e-Taiba strongly condemns the series of attacks in Mumbai ... Lashkar has no association with any Indian militant group," Abdullah Gaznavia, chief spokesman of the group, told Reuters.Since Lashkar-e-Taiba was founded in 1989 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, the group has grown into one of the largest and most active terrorist organizations in South Asia, and its fighters have been actively fighting Indian security forces in Kashmir since 1993.India has accused the group of carrying out deadly explosions in Mumbai in 2003 that killed 55 people and injured 180, as well as an armed raid on India's parliament in 2001 that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of all-out war.But the group has also been accused of carrying out attacks in Pakistan in opposition to the policies of former President Pervez Musharraf, leading to its ban in Pakistan since 2002.The group is known to operate training camps that have been tolerated by Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency because of their potential use in conflicts against India and in Afghanistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al Qaeda have shared training camps in Pakistan, but no one yet is linking Al Qaeda to the attacks in Mumbai.A Hindu newspaper reported early Saturday that three of the captured terrorists have confessed to being members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, with one of the suspects allegedly from Pakistan's Peshawar area, and local media report that one of the captured gunmen was identified as Abu Ismail from Faridkot, Pakistan.And police reportedly intercepted communications between the terrorists in the Punjab language, which is spoken in Pakistan...
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Pakistan U-turns on sending spy chief to India

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan-Pakistan demanded evidence Saturday for Indian charges it was involved in the Mumbai attacks and reversed its decision to send its spy chief to aid the probe, muddying efforts to avert a crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Deep mistrust between the South Asian rivals, who have already fought three wars, endangers efforts by the U.S. and its Western allies to battle al-Qaida and Taliban, thought to be hiding out along Pakistan's western border with Afghanistan.Rising tensions on Saturday prompted Pakistani security officials to warn that the government would pull its troops from the antiterror fight along the Afghan border in order to respond to any Indian mobilization.But Washington, which is fighting an increasingly deadly insurgency in Afghanistan, issued a reminder of Pakistan's failure to eliminate militant strongholds in its lawless northwest with a missile attack that reportedly killed two people. Pakistan's government on Saturday reinforced its pledge to help India identify and apprehend those behind the attacks, which left more than 190 people dead in the financial hub of Mumbai. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Indian people to defeat this common enemy," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad.However, Qureshi insisted that Pakistani authorities-including intelligence agencies that New Delhi has long accused of sponsoring terrorism-were not behind the carnage."If they have evidence they should share it with us," Qureshi said. "Our hands are clean."His government also backed off a pledge made on Friday to send the chief of its Inter Services Intelligence agency in person. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari blamed the about-face on a "miscommunication" with India. Zardari said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked in a telephone call on Friday only that a "director" of the agency-not the chief-go to India.But the reversal followed sharp criticism from some Pakistani opposition politicians and a cold response from the army, which controls the agency and jockeys with India for influence in the region.Two senior Pakistani security officials said the Indians were pointing fingers at Islamabad in order to divert attention from its failure to avert the attacks and radicalization among its own Muslim minority.One of the officials, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said a further ratcheting up of tension could prompt India to move forces toward the Pakistani border....
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Saudi king says oil should be $75 per barrel

CAIRO, Egypt-Saudi Arabia's king says the price of oil should be $75 a barrel, much higher than it is now, but his oil minister indicated Saturday that no measures will likely be taken until OPEC meets again next month.Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will "do what needs to be done" to shore up falling oil prices when the group meets Dec. 17 in Algeria, but for now it was "too early."Other ministers at the hastily convened OPEC meeting in Cairo did not entirely rule out cuts, including Libyan oil official, Shokri Ghanem, who, ahead of the meeting, said "all options are open."But Naimi, whose country is the world's largest oil producer, said the bloc needs to wait until the Algeria meeting to assess the impact of earlier production cuts.Naimi's comments came after Saudi King Abdullah told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah in an interview published Saturday that oil should be priced at $75 a barrel."We believe the fair price for oil is $75 a barrel," he said, without saying how the price could be raised.The price of crude stood at about $147 a barrel in mid-July. On Friday, the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was trading at about $54 per barrel.The king was echoed by Qatar's Oil Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad al-Attiya, who told the Arab news channel Al-Arabiya that prices needed to rise to guarantee investment into the oil sector."The price between 70 to 80 (dollars a barrel) is the one encouraging in investment and developing new or current oil fields," he said. "It falls below 70 (dollars), the investment would freeze, which will lead to a crisis in supply in the future."Nigerian Oil Minister Odein Ajumogobia also said they would be "very happy" with oil at $75.The cartel has already held an emergency meeting in Vienna on Oct. 24 to announce a production cut of 1.5 million barrels per day.The cut failed to stop the price drop, and the cartel abruptly convened the Cairo gathering on the sidelines of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries' meeting....
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Police were reviewing video from surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify people who trampled on a Wal-Mart worker killed when a crowd of post-Thanksgiving shoppers burst through the doors at a suburban store and knocked him down...

QUAKEWATCH:Small Ark. earthquakes could be warning:Expert

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-A series of small earthquakes that rattled central Arkansas in recent weeks could be a sign of something much bigger to come.By this weekend, seismologists hope to install three measurement devices to gather data about future temblors in the area.That information could show whether the rumbles come from heat-related geological changes or from an undiscovered fault-which could mean a risk of substantial earthquakes in the future."The potential for generating a high-magnitude earthquake is real," said Haydar Al-Shukri, director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock....
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Castro attends Cuba's first Catholic beatification

HAVANA-Cuban President Raul Castro attended a ceremony for the country's first religious beatification on Saturday in another sign of warming relations between the Communist-ruled island and the Catholic Church.Dressed in a dark suit, Castro sat in the first row at the mass conducted with a Vatican envoy for Father Jose Olallo, the first Cuban to receive such honors on the island in its more than 500 years of Catholic history.After Fidel Castro came to power in an armed revolution in 1959, Cuba expelled priests and Catholics faced decades of official atheism. Ties improved after Cuba guaranteed religious freedom in 1992 and Pope John Paul II visited six years later.Cuban state-run television showed several thousand people packed into a plaza in Camaguey, around 330 miles from Havana, for the ceremony for Olallo, who worked with cholera sufferers and died in 1889.Raul Castro took over governing Cuba in 2006 when his brother fell ill. He was made president in February and has since begun introducing reforms, such as allowing Cubans for the first time to buy cell phones and computers.Catholic beatification is the third of the four steps to sainthood. In a rare move, the state-run newspaper Granma dedicated the front page of its Friday edition to Olallo's recognition by the Church.In 2007, the Pope beatified another priest born in Cuba, but he was raised and died in Spain.The Vatican said in February Pope Benedict would like to visit Cuba at the invitation of Raul Castro and his ailing brother. The Pontiff's top aide was the first foreign official to meet Raul Castro when he become president.
As in the days of Noah...

Russia, Venezuela military exercise

Russian leader meets Fidel Castro in Cuba

HAVANA-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met former Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Friday as Moscow rebuilt ties with an old Cold War ally during a trip to strengthen its political and economic clout in Latin America.The meeting came at the end of Medvedev's tour of the region, which has been seen as an attempt by Russia to taunt Washington in its traditional backyard as well as boost Moscow's trade with the region."This has been a great visit, a magnificent visit, and now he is going to see Fidel," Cuban President and Fidel's brother, Raul Castro, told reporters after Medvedev laid flowers at a monument to the Soviet era.Medvedev had traveled from Venezuela, where he and anti-U.S. leader President Hugo Chavez oversaw joint naval exercises as tensions between Moscow and Washington simmer over U.S. missile defense plans in Europe and Russia's brief war with Georgia.Moscow was Havana's main benefactor during the Cold War but the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union battered Cuba's economy. Ties soured further after then-President Vladimir Putin closed Russia's Lourdes intelligence base on the island in 2001.Fidel Castro, 82, who ruled Cuba for 49 years before Raul became president in February, has not been seen in public since undergoing surgery in July 2006. But he writes regular newspaper columns and meets with foreign leaders.No photographs or television images were immediately available of his meeting with Medvedev, but the two men talked for more than an hour, the Kremlin said.U.S. officials say they have been monitoring Moscow's moves in Latin America but do not consider them threatening.Raul Castro could visit Russia next year and Moscow has called on Washington to end its economic embargo on the Caribbean island imposed in 1962, three years after Fidel came to power in an armed revolution.

As in the days of Noah.....

Russia test-fires ICBM from submarine

The Russian navy said Friday that a new-generation Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired from a submerged submarine and hit its target - the second consecutive successful test of the troubled weapon.Russian officials have hailed the Bulava as a key future component of the nation's nuclear forces, but several failed test-launches over the past two years have cast doubt on the missile.The Bulava reportedly is designed to have a maximum range of about 10,000 kilometers and to carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads.Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said in a statement that a Bulava was launched on Friday from the nuclear submarine Dmitry Donskoi beneath the White Sea surface and hit its test targets on the Kamchatka Peninsula, some 5,500 kilometers to the east.Also Friday, Russian news agencies quoted the head of the country's Strategic Rocket Forces as saying the planned US missile defense system in Europe and other perceived threats have prompted Moscow to work harder on missile development.Interfax quoted Col.-Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov as saying Russia has stepped up efforts to lay a groundwork for new missiles that could be deployed after 2020.Solovtsov also said plans are on track to put a new RS-24 missile equipped with multiple nuclear warheads in service next year. He says the RS-24 will improve Russia's capability of penetrating missile defense systems.
As in the days of Noah...

Friday, November 28, 2008

4 Israelis rescued from Oberoi Hotel

Four Israelis are among the group of hostages that were rescued by Indian special forces from the Oberoi Trident Hotel on Friday, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official in Mumbai told the Jerusalem Post."There are no more Israeli hostages at the Oberoi hotel," Haim Hoshen, the Foreign Ministry's Head of Asia and South Asia Department, said, speaking by phone from the Israeli Consulate in Mumbai. "Two of the freed hostages arrived at the consulate, and were put on a flight to Israel half an hour ago. The other two have been transferred to another hotel," he said early Friday afternoon.Earlier, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that she had spoken spoke to Israeli Ambassador to India Mark Sofer, who informed her that after the four Israelis were found in the Oberoi hotel, 17 Israelis were still unaccounted for in Mumbai.She said the Foreign Ministry would continue to exert efforts in order to track down the missing Israelis.Hoshen said the number of missing Israelis was compiled from a list sent to the Consulate from Jerusalem, which was based on reports by worried parents and family members of loved ones in Mumbai who have not made contact since the terror attacks began.He estimated that two to four Israelis remained inside the Chabad House, which was raided by Indian commando forces in a rooftop helicopter operation. But the Consulate did not know the precise number of Israelis trapped in the Chabad House, Hoshen stressed."The situation at the Chabad House is very difficult. The commando operation began yesterday, and there have been a series of tactical stops since," Hoshen said. He added that Indian forces had introduced more powerful arms in recent hours.
The IDF attache to India, who arrived in Mumbai from New Delhi, is liaising between the Indian military and the Israeli Consulate, keeping Israeli diplomatic staff updated on the latest developments, Hoshen said. "We have gone to hospitals to check for Israelis, and thank God, we haven't found anything at this stage," he added.Hoshen was staying at the Oberoi Hotel when the building came under attack, and described hearing a number of explosions go off around him as he attended a reception. He evacuated the area leaving all of his belongings in the hotel.The staff of the Israeli consulate in Mumbai has been working "24 hours a day" since the crisis began, Hoshen said. "We managed to catch a couple of hours of sleep last night," he said.

As in the days of Noah...

'They made the ultimate sacrifice'

Moshe will mark his second birthday as an orphan after his parents were killed by terrorists some time between Wednesday, when the Chabad House they ran was attacked and Friday, when Indian commandos took over the building.
Photo: AP
The worldwide leaders of the Chabad Lubavitch movement in New York mourned the deaths of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, discovered Friday after Indian commandos took control of the movement's center in Mumbai.The pair, who had been the movement's chief emissaries in India, were last heard from Wednesday, shortly after heavily armed gunmen stormed Chabad's Nariman House facility next door to a popular cafe that was among 10 targeted in this week's attacks."We're going to miss him very dearly - he was a very special person, he and his wife were very special people," said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Chabad's educational arm. His voice broke as he spoke to reporters at the Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood.Indian troops who cleared the Chabad building after rappelling onto the roof from helicopters found the bodies of two suspected terrorists and three other people whose identities were not immediately released. It was not clear when the victims died. An Indian employee who escaped the center with the Holtzbergs' toddler son Moshe - who turns two on Saturday - told reporters she saw them lying "unconscious" on the ground as she fled.The boy was reunited with his grandparents, who flew to Mumbai on Thursday."Today he became an orphan, without a dad and mom to lovingly embrace him and celebrate with him," Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky told reporters, adding that the Lubavitch movement would guarantee the boy's upbringing.A second son, who was ailing, was with relatives in Israel when the attack occurred.A third child died earlier this year of a degenerative genetic disease.Krinsky also addressed the more than 4,000 Chabad emissaries worldwide, counseling them to remain brave in the face of adversity."Keep strong and continue to forge ahead with courage and fortitude in the service of our people and mankind to make this world a better place to live for all," he said."Nothing deters us," he added, after a reporter asked about whether emissaries would be afraid in the future to conduct the group's outreach activities.Chabad leaders declined to comment on security measures that were being put in place at their facilities, which dot the globe from Argentina to Vietnam.Kotlarsky said he last spoke to Holtzberg on Tuesday to finalize the details of a new center opening in Bangalore next week."Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg made the ultimate sacrifice," Kotlarsky said."As emissaries to Mumbai, Gabi and Rivky gave up the comforts of the West in order to spread Jewish pride in a corner of the world that was a frequent stop for throngs of Israeli tourists. Their selfless love will live on with all the people they touched. We will continue the work they started."Members of the movement gathered at the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters Friday hours before the start of the Jewish Sabbath to pray for the families of the dead, joining dozens of volunteers who had been working the telephones and monitoring news Web sites since the attacks.The Holtzbergs arrived in Mumbai in 2003 to serve the local Jewish community. The two ran a synagogue, offering religious instruction and helping people dealing with drug addiction and poverty, Kotlarsky said.Holtzberg "was the finest and nicest gentleman that you can imagine," a weeping Kotlarsky said at the news conference."You never saw him without a smile ... he was always cheerful and greeted everyone pleasantly ... a real mensch."Gavriel Holtzberg's last known phone call was to the Israeli consulate to report that gunmen were in his house, the group's leaders in Brooklyn said. In the middle of the conversation, the line went dead.Twelve hours after gunmen stormed the center Wednesday, Sandra Samuel, a cook at the center, heard little Moshe's cries outside the room in which she had barricaded herself. She opened the door, grabbed the toddler and ran outside with another center worker.The little boy's pants were soaked with blood, and Samuel said she saw four people lying on the floor as she fled.Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, was born in Israel and moved to the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn with his parents when he was nine. He had dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship. Rivkah Holtzberg, 28, was a native of Afula, Israel. The couple had lived in New York before going to India.The Lubavitchers were one of many Hasidic groups that were uprooted from Eastern Europe by the Holocaust and came to the United States.They became the most outward-looking of the ultrareligious groups, constructing giant Hanukkah menorahs in public places, proselytizing among less pious Jews and building Chabad centers from Sao Paulo to Bangkok.The once-tiny sect has swelled in number and influence. Estimates of followers vary widely, ranging from the tens of thousands to a million or more. About 4,000 full-time emissary families direct more than 3,300 institutions around the world.In response to the Mumbai attacks, New York City police beefed up patrols around large hotels and Jewish centers, including the Lubavitcher headquarters, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne."This is indeed a very sad day," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at the news conference. "It is a reminder to all of us just how connected we are."The department already was on alert because of a warning earlier this week of a possible al-Qaida plot to strike the city's rail systems over the holidays."I assure you that here in New York City, we are resolved to be vigilant," Kelly said.
As in the days of Noah....

Israel condemns Mumbai terror attack

Israel's Ambassador to the US, Sallai Meridor issued a statement on Friday condemning the multiple terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India."Israel strongly condemns the terrorist attacks which have taken place in Mumbai, India. Israel stands behind the people of India and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. "We extend our condolences to the families in the United States and elsewhere, who have lost their loved ones in these barbarous attacks and wish the wounded a speedy and full recovery."This brutal mass murder, and its tragic aftermath, resonate with all Israelis and underscores the need for close cooperation with our friends and allies. A concerted global front to fight against terror and extremism, anywhere and everywhere, is now more than ever, an imperative."We are of course shocked and saddened by the intentional and brutal terrorist attack on the Chabad Center at Mumbai. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chabad community and the families in Israel and all over the world, at this difficult hour," the statement said.Six Jews and Israelis were killed in the attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai. An officer in the Indian commando unit said the hostages were killed many hours before his men stormed the building.He also said one of his men had died during gun-battles with the gunmen holed up in the building.
As in the days of Noah...

"We Need To Stand Together":Israeli Ambassador Reacts to Death of NY Rabbi and Wife in Mumbai

NY Rabbi, Wife Among Dead in Mumbai Raid

Communities Mourn Americans Killed in India

Sixth body of murdered Israeli hostage found at Chabad Center in Mumbai

Islamist terrorists murdered six Israelis, including Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holzman, taken hostage in the Chabad Center during their assault on Mumbai Wednesday, Nov. 26. The sixth victim was found later. Chabad Center was seized together with two big hotels and other high-profile targets across the city.Israeli defense minister said in a Channel 1 TV interview that some of the bodies bore signs that they had been bound hand and foot and the two Israeli women had been killed hours before the men.In New York, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky voiced the outrage of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and conveyed condolences to the families of everyone murdered in Mumbai. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said the atrocity reminds us of how connected the world is in the face of terror.Indian commanders reported the Israeli hostages were killed in the course of the Indian commando raid which began early Friday, Nov. 28. Choppers dropped soldiers on the roof of the Chabad Center which caters to Israeli and Jewish visitors to the city. Later a big hole was blown in an outer wall.DEBKAfile reports the commando raid was agreed by the Indian and Israeli governments when it appeared that the chances of finding living hostages in the Chabad Center were declining as time went by.Four Israelis staying at the Oberoi hotel were rescued with more than 100 hostages.The operation there appears to be over. The bodies of 24 guests were recovered in the rooms.The death toll of the Islamist terrorist assault has risen to 155 with hundreds wounded.On Day 3 of the assault on Mumbai, the terrorists mounted a second attack on city's main rail station already hit Wednesday. DEBKAfile reports that the fresh attack indicates terrorists remained on the loose outside the primary three hostage locations seized Wednesday and may be preparing a second wave of outrages in India's financial center.Indian sources identify the terrorists as Pakistani British citizens.Indian commandoes told the media that the gunmen were obviously well-trained, well-armed, under 30 and they showed no remorse, firing at anybody they saw.
As in the days of Noah...

6 hostages dead in Chabad House

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement has confirmed that a New York rabbi and his wife are among the dead in the India terrorist attack.A spokesman, Rabbi Zalman Schmotkin, said Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, have been killed in Mumbai. They ran the movement's local headquarters, which was one of 10 sites attacked.The couple's toddler son, Moshe Holtzberg, was taken out of the center by an employee, and is now with his grandparents. Speaking to Army Radio on Friday, a relative, Yitzhak Dovid Grossman, said there was "an eruption of emotion" when the grandparents met their grandson. But he said they soon resumed "worrying about what is happening with Rivki and her husband."Schmotkin identified two other victims as Bentzion Chroman, an Israeli with dual US citizenship, and Leibish Teitlebaum, an American from Brooklyn. Hesaid a fifth victim was an Israeli woman but did not give her name. On Friday night, the Foreign Ministry confirmed that a sixth victim was found in the building; Indian commandos were still combing the floors of Nariman House for other casualties.In the most dramatic of the counter-strikes, masked Indian commandos rappelled from a helicopter to the rooftop of the Chabad House as snipers laid down cover fire.For nearly 12 hours, explosions and gunfire erupted from the five-story building as the commandos fought their way downward, while thousands of people gathered behind barricades in the streets to watch.The assault blew huge holes in the center, and, at one point, Indian forces fired a rocket at the building. Soon after, elated commandos ran outside with their rifles raised over their heads in a sign of triumph.A ZAKA delegation entered the building after the raid and reported through an Indian aide that five hostages were dead, a ZAKA spokesman in Israel said.The mission of the ultra-Orthodox ZAKA volunteers is to rescue the living - and in the case of the dead, carry out the task of gathering up all pieces of flesh and blood to facilitate a proper Jewish burial.Sky News quoted Indian National Security Guards chief J.K. Dutt as saying two gunmen were also killed in the operation against Islamic terrorists holed up inside the building.Dutt spoke after commandos blew a hole in the wall of the besieged building as they tried to box in the terrorists, who were holding an unspecified number of hostages. The massive explosion shook the Chabad center, blowing out windows in neighboring buildings, and gunfire and smaller explosions followed the blast.Commandos had rappelled from helicopters to storm the center earlier Friday, two days after a chain of Islamic terrorist attacks across India's financial center left at least 143 people dead and the city in panic.Israel's ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, said he believed there had been up to nine hostages inside. Sofer denied reports that Israeli commandos had taken part in the operation.Haim Hoshen, the Foreign Ministry's Head of Asia and South Asia Department, told The Jerusalem Post that two to four Israelis were being held inside the building.The Foreign Ministry said that a total of 17 Israelis were still unaccounted for in Mumbai.Also Friday morning, two Israeli businessmen were amongst the dozens of hostages rescued late Friday morning from Mumbai's Oberoi hotel.Earlier, an El Al plane carrying some 300 Israelis arrived at Ben Gurion Airport from Mumbai.One of the passengers described the atmosphere in the city to Army Radio."There was a feeling of fear, panic and naivety on the part of the Indians. They realized that they did not know how to take control of the situation. I found myself in a closed, dark room waiting, listening to CNN…waiting to know what to do next," he said.
As in the days of Noah...

"No Escape":Survivors of Mumbai Terror Attacks Share Their Story

Virginia Dad,Daughter Killed in India

A spokesperson for a meditation group says two Virginians killed in Mumbai were finishing a snack when they were attacked and killed by terrorists....

Terror on Tape:Mumbai Attack

Indian government sources: Seven Mumbai jihadists from the U.K.

An update on this story. "Seven Mumbai gunmen are from 'Leeds and Hartlepool'," from the Mirror, November 28:
Seven of the terrorists who brought carnage to Mumbai are British, Indian government sources claimed yesterday.They said two British-born Pakistanis are under arrest. And another five suspects are said to have been born and raised here.Two of the seven are from Leeds, one is from Bradford and one from Hartlepool, the sources claimed. All are aged between 20 and 26.The claims were made as the death toll in Mumbai reached 155 – with predictions it could go as high as 200.The Hartlepool suspect was allegedly found in the five-star Taj Mahal Palace hotel, scene of some of the most horrific killings. The man from Bradford and one from Leeds were allegedly discovered on the 17th floor of the Oberoi-Trident Hotel.A second man from Leeds was allegedly captured near a jetty after a gang of around 25 terrorists landed in Mumbai by boat on Wednesday.The suspects were allegedly found with documentation, possibly including passports, which revealed their origin.The sources say they also spoke to each other in a heavily-accented Punjabi common in UK Pakistani communities. Gordon Brown yesterday urged caution saying it was “premature” to draw any conclusions.He said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had not told of him of “any evidence at this stage” that Britons were behind the massacres. [...]The Foreign Office and MI6 were last night trying to establish the facts amid chaotic scenes in Mumbai as Indian commandos continued operations to flush out the remaining gunmen.If the terrorists are Britons, the UK security service will have to urgently discover how they slipped through the surveillance net. In the wake of 7/7 London bombings the monitoring of militant and disaffected Muslim groups has been tightened up.The security services were criticised after 7/7 for not keeping better track of the bombers. Since the early 2000s Britain has had an unwelcome reputation as a haven for Islamic radicals. [...]
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Indian Forces End Standoff, Take Back Hotel as Focus Turns to Who Was Behind Mumbai Attacks

MUMBAI,India-Two and a half days after teams of Islamist terrorists began their brutal attacks across India's financial capital, their final standoff at the Taj Majal hotel is over after Indian commandos took the building by force, the country's commando chief told local media.The hotel was the final terror hotspot Saturday morning, with Indian authorities already appearing to have regained control over the rest of the city after the wave of attacks launched late Wednesday night. Security officials told FOX News' sister network Sky News that all hostages had been freed from the hotel.As daylight dawned Saturday, the sound of explosions and gunfire continued to emanate from inside the hotel, and a new fire broke out and raged through parts of the building's lower floors. Indian forces went through the large building room by room in an effort to root out the terrorists, and as the operation came to an end, India's NDTV reported, one terrorist was caught, another was killed and hand grenades and an AK-47 were recovered.The lingering alarm there was a far cry from the broader, fast-evolving massacre that struck India's financial capital late Wednesday night as attacks on 10 locations left at least 150 dead, including as many as six Americans.A little-known group calling itself Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility early on, though Indian authorities and some other security analysts are pointing fingers at a group or groups with roots in Pakistan."According to preliminary information, some elements in Pakistan are responsible for Mumbai terror attacks," Pranab Mukherjee, India's foreign minister, told reporters in the western city of Jodhpur, though he declined to identify any evidence.Pakistan, India's cross-border rival, has denied that its government had anything to do with the attacks. Pakistani leaders have called on the two countries to work together to combat terrorism, and Pakistan has pledged to send its spy chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shujaa Pasha, to India to help probe the attacks...
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FOXNews.com's Judd Berger, FOX News' Greg Burke and Reena Ninan, the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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SIGN of the TIMES:Death at Wal Mart After Stampede

VALLEY STREAM, N.Y.-We're used to seeing scenes like this across the country-people running, pushing, trying to get their hands on the great bargains. But on Friday-better known as "Black Friday"to millions upon millions of holiday shoppers across the country, a scene like this turned deadly as a mob stampeded over a security guard at a Long Island Wal-Mart.The heavy glass and steel sliding doors were literally knocked off their hinges in the shopper-stampede-to-be-first.Then the wave of humaity caved in on defenseless Wal-Mart workers as they opened early-5 a.m.-for the annual bargain hunting ritual that kicks off the morning after Thanksgiving. "The crowd pushed so forcefully that they crashed the doors down and one of the workers from Wal-Mart was pushed to the floor as the crowd entered the store, many of them running," said Det. Lt. Michael Fleming of the Nassau County Police Department....
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--...throng of shoppers physically broke down doors
--WAL-MART shoppers scuffle over last X-Box 360 console...

PS:Is this what thanksgiving weekend has come out to be for thousands of americans....?Just go and trample and stomp on other people to get an item 50% off...?We're surely living in evil and dark days where the love of many IS waxing cold....as to continue shopping after a man died stomped by these shoppers,a woman miscarried because of the stomping and people drew guns on each other in the middle of a packed toy store.....HORRIBLE!!!!GOD HELP US....!!!!
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

U.S. Troops Celebrate Thanksgiving Day

US Celebrates Thanksgiving With Parades,Feasts

NEW YORK-Val Bonner planned for a decade to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on her 50th birthday, and this year she got her wish Thursday, joining throngs of holiday revelers in Manhattan cheering the giant balloons and thousands of marchers."It's just fabulous-I cried when I saw it," said Bonner, of Steilacoom, Wash. "This is my gift to myself. I've been saving for years for it. It's a dream come true."Bonner, her husband Frank, and son Jack stood with shrieking, delighted children throwing confetti as the 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade wound its way through Manhattan streets under sunny skies.Quincy Kersbergen of Wyckoff, N.J., found a prime viewing spot — perched on a police barricade near the beginning of the parade — and proclaimed herself a big fan of a giant dog balloon."This is just fantastic!" the 11-year-old Kersbergen said. "So amazing to be here in person! I'm just so excited about today!"New to the revelry this year were Buzz Lightyear, the square-jawed, action-figure astronaut from the 1995 film "Toy Story;" Horton, the compassionate elephant of Dr. Seuss books; and a five-story Smurf, a blue, gnome-like creature popularized by a TV show that began in 1981. Old favorites like Kermit and the Energizer Bunny also were back.Organizers said more than a million spectators viewed the 82nd annual parade in person, with another 50 million watching on television. The 2.5-mile route winds from Central Park West and West 77th Street to Herald Square, in front of Macy's flagship store.Crews on Wednesday inflated the 13 giant balloons and 31 smaller ones. Each giant balloon requires more than 5,000 cubic feet of helium, much of which supplier Linde North America intended to recover and recycle, said Nick Haines, the company's helium director for the Americas. Linde tested the process of sucking the gas out of the balloons, compressing it and later purifying it for resale last year.
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Russia to complete Iran nuclear plant in 2009 -Tass

MOSCOW-Russia will complete Iran's first nuclear power plant in 2009, Itar-Tass news agency quoted the head of Russia's state nuclear corporation as saying on Thursday.The launch of the Bushehr plant's nuclear reactor has frequently been delayed. Russian and Iranian officials have given different dates for the start-up. Iran's foreign minister said last year the plant would launch in mid-2008.Russia has already delivered nuclear fuel under a $1 billion contract to build the Bushehr plant on the Gulf coast in southwest Iran. Russia has blamed previous delays on problems with receiving payment from Iran."Work is ongoing and certain difficulties which arose, including those connected with timely financing, are being resolved due to joint efforts between the Iranian purchaser and the Russian contractor," Tass quoted Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear corporation, as saying."Next year we should conclude all the work," Kiriyenko was quoted as saying. Kiriyenko was in Caracas, Venezuela, accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a visit.Russia agreed in 1995 to build the plant on the site of an earlier project begun in the 1970s by German firm Siemens. The Siemens project was disrupted by Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war."The position of Russia has not changed: that Bushehr should be finished as soon as possible," a spokesman for Rosatom said. "But that must not affect the security of the plant and the functioning of its systems.""The main question is the integration of Russian equipment with the equipment delivered to the plant at Bushehr by the Germans," the spokesman said.
Atomstroyexport, the Russian firm building the plant, said in September the plant was nearing completion and that it would start "technological work" in December 2008 to February 2009 that would put the plant on an "irreversible final" course.
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Russia to help Venezuela develop nuclear energy

CARACAS, Venezuela-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a nuclear energy program in Venezuela and said Moscow is willing to participate in a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo Chavez. Medvedev used his visit to Venezuela-the first by a Russian president-to extend Moscow's reach into Latin America and deepen trade and military ties. Chavez denied trying to provoke the United States, but he welcomed Russia's growing presence in Latin America as a reflection of declining U.S. influence.Chavez and Medvedev planned to visit a Russian destroyer docked in a Venezuelan port on Thursday. The arrival of Russian warships this week for training exercises with Venezuela's navy was the first deployment of its kind in the Caribbean since the Cold War.Accords signed Wednesday included one pledging cooperation in nuclear energy for peaceful uses. Russia also agreed to work with Venezuela in oil projects and building ships.Moscow plans to develop a nuclear cooperation program with Venezuela by the end of next year, said Sergey Kirienko, head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency."We are ready to teach students in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering," he said through an interpreter. He said the help would include "research and development" and "looking for uranium in the territory of Venezuela."Chavez says Venezuela hopes to build a nuclear reactor for energy purposes.The Venezuelan leader—one of the world's most strident U.S. critics—thanked Medvedev for helping to create a "multi-polar" world with declining U.S. influence.Medvedev called Venezuela "one of our most important partners in Latin America" and pledged to keep supplying the South American nation with weapons. But he said arms sales to Venezuela "are not aimed against any other country."Chavez's government has already bought more than $4 billion in Russian arms, including Sukhoi fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles.Chavez had assembled a group of Latin American allies for talks hours before Medvedev's visit, and leaders including Bolivia's Evo Morales and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega joined them for a late-night meeting.Medvedev said Russia is ready to "think about participating" in the Bolivarian Alernative for the Americas, likely as an associate member. Chavez launched the socialist trade bloc, named after South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, as an alternative to U.S.-backed free-trade pacts.The Russian naval squadron deployed to the Caribbean includes the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, the largest in the Russian fleet.The military show of force is widely seen as a demonstration of Kremlin anger over the U.S. decision to send warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its conflict with Russia, and over U.S. plans for a European missile-defense system.But U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that "a few Russian ships is not going to change the balance of power" in the region.Medvedev was to finish his four-nation Latin American tour in Cuba.Medvedev said he also discussed the global financial crisis with Chavez, and "exchanged different ideas of what actions to take in this situation." Chavez blames the financial crisis on U.S. free-market capitalism. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D94NBROO0&show_article=1
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Heavy Gunfire Erupts After Helicopter Drops Indian Commandos on Besieged Jewish Center

'Gunmen aim to halt India's int'l ties'

The multiple terror attacks that have rocked India's financial capital Mumbai were aimed at halting India's increasingly close relationship with the US, Britain and Israel, a senior Indian defense source told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, noting that nationals of each country had been targeted.The attacks were also aimed at fomenting strife between India's well-integrated, sizable Muslim minority (third only in size to the Muslim population of Indonesia and Pakistan) and the Hindu majority, according to Colonel Behram A.Sahukar, who has extensive practical experience in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in the Indian subcontinent."There have been growing strategic ties between India and the US... and growing ties between India and Israel," Sahukar said.Indian-Israeli relations have "been getting stronger by the day," Sahukar noted, though he stressed that this did "not come at the expense of India's relations with Arab countries."Americans, British nationals and Israelis had been singled out in Mumbai as a result "of the closeness of their governments to us," Sahukar explained. The attackers perceive India's close ties with these countries and its partnership in the global war on terror "as a war against true Islam," he added. Sahukar, a former Fellow in Terrorism and Security Studies at the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and a researcher at the United Service Institution of India in Delhi, said the raid and hostage-taking attack on the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai was an opportunistic act by a jihadi group with ties to radical elements in Pakistan.At the same time, however, Israelis were not the main focus of the terror onslaught, he added. "This particular attack was expanded to include the Chabad House, but the [main] targets were Americans, and British nationals, because the UK is seen by the radicals as a poodle of the US," he said."If they wanted to hit Israelis they would hit Goa [south of Mumbai] or Manali [northeast of Dehli]," Sahukar said, naming hugely popular destinations among Israeli backpackers, where signs in Hebrew are commonplace, and where Sahukar said locals have even begun speaking some Hebrew because of the large numbers of Israelis passing through.Sahukar said the attacks may have been launched by a coalition of home-grown Indian jihadi sleeper cells and Pakistan-based radical elements."The involvement of Pakistan is evident from the rubber dinghy boats found near the Mumbai waterfront, and past history shows that a sophisticated operation to coordinate and plan these simultaneous Fedayeen [martyrdom] attacks is necessary for sustainability and staying power," he added.The attacks could also be linked to a group associated with Omar Sheikh, the man who beheaded the Jewish American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.Sheikh, together with Maulana Mazood Azhar, were released by India in exchange for the release of 180 passengers on a flight hijacked by Muslim radicals in 1999."Omar Sheikh was later implicated in the murder of Daniel Pearl, and Mazood Azhar formed the Jaish e Muhammad group, which in conjunction with the Laskar e Taiyyaba launched several Fedayeen attacks against India's Parliament in December 2001, and in Kashmir since 1999," Sahukar said."This is not the first time that Westerners have been targeted, but it is the first time that they have been targeted on this scale and in such a violent manner," he added. Sahukar recalled how in June 1991, seven Israelis and one Dutch tourist were kidnapped from a houseboat in Srinagar, Kashmir. In the subsequent scuffle, one Israeli was killed and the others escaped. Other attacks on Westerners followed. Sahukar said terrorism was now engulfing large cities in India due to crackdowns on trouble spots like Kashmir in recent years."This is shown by recent attacks in Gauhati and two other towns in Assam, Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Htderabad, Mumbai and also Delhi," he said."Terrorists will also use India's vast and vulnerable coastline to introduce radical Islamists and explosives, in conjunction with home-grown terrorists and the activation of home-grown Indian Muslim militants," Sahukar stated.The name of the group which has claimed responsibility for the attack, Deccan Mujahideen, "does not really mean very much," according to Sahukar, who said the name appeared to be a front for members of the Indian Mujahideen and the banned terrorist organization Students' Islamic Movement of India.The extremists are seeking to play off Hindu-Muslim tensions, which came to the fore in 1992, when Hindu radicals destroyed the renowned Babri Masjid mosque built on top of a Hindu holy place. Ten years later, 58 Hindus were burned alive by Muslim rioters in a train car in Ghodra. That incident was followed by dozens of attacks on Muslims by Hindus in the state of Gujarat. Sahukar expressed hope that Hindu militants would not fall into the trap set by jihadis by alienating India's moderate Muslims.Sahukar regularly visits Israel to participate in conferences held by the Interdisciplinary Center's Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya."If anything, these attacks will bring India even closer to the US, UK, Israel and even Pakistan in its fight against terrorism in general and Islamist terrorism in particular," Sahukar predicted.
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URGENT: Indian Forces Assault Besieged Jewish Center in Mumbai

MUMBAI, India-Security forces assaulted a Jewish center in Mumbai where Muslim militants were believed holed up with possible hostages Friday, with black-clad commandos dropping from a Indian helicopter as sharpshooters opened fire on the five-story building.The attack came as Indian commandoes scoured two luxury hotels room-by-room for survivors and holed-up militants, more than a day after a chain of attacks across India's financial center by suspected Muslim militants left at least 119 people dead. The well-coordinated strikes by small bands of gunmen starting Wednesday night left the city shell-shocked, but the sporadic gunfire and explosions at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels dwindled overnight, indicating the siege might be winding down.At the headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch, a commando assault began shortly after dawn following a tense night in which six trucks of soldiers had been brought in to surround the building.Snipers stationed in buildings opposite the center began the attack, with sustained fire on the building as at least nine commandos lowered themselves by rope onto the roof from a circling Indian air force helicopter.
Security forces searched the rooms at the hotels — two of the top gathering spots for the Mumbai elite — but there were no gunbattles or blasts. Commandos had spent much of Thursday bringing out hostages, trapped guests and corpses from the hotels in small groups while firefighters battled flames that erupted. The fires were out by Friday.State officials said 119 people had died and 288 were injured in the attacks.The gunmen were well-prepared, even carrying large bags of almonds to keep up their energy during the fight. Their 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 in khakis and T-shirts — clearly came ready for a siege."They have AK-47s and grenades. They have bags full of grenades and have come fully prepared," said Maj. Gen. R.K. Hooda.Ratan Tata, who runs the company that owns the elegant Taj Mahal, said they appeared to have scouted their targets in advance."They seem to know their way around the back office, the kitchen. There has been a considerable amount of detailed planning," he told a news conference.The Maharashtra state home ministry said dozens of hostages had been freed from the Oberoi and dozens more were still trapped inside. More than 400 people were brought out of the Taj Mahal on Thursday.Authorities said they had killed three gunmen at the Taj.It remained unclear just how many people had been taken hostage, how many were hiding inside the hotels and how many dead still lay uncounted...
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On-scene report from Mumbai

Inside the Oberoi

Grief for Mumbai massacre victims

Mumbai attacks, tourists head home


Mumbai gunmen besiege hotels, kill 119 in 2 days...'
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Pakistan calls for unity with India after Bombay attacks

Pakistan called for the fight against terrorism to be intensified today as terrorist attacks in Bombay threaten to escalate tension between the two South Asian nations.Amid revelations that a Pakistani boat was being searched off the Bombay coastline, President Asif Ali Zardari emphatically condemned the attacks saying they were a cowardly act. Speaking on the phone to Sonia Gandhi, president of the ruling Indian Congress Party, Mr Zardari said there was a greater need for a joint India-Pakistan struggle against terrorism, adding that Pakistan stood with the people of India.Pakistan, which has often been accused by India of being complicit in terror strikes on its soil, has also offered to take part in a joint investigation into the Bombay attacks. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was in New Delhi for talks on the countries' slow-moving peace process, said his government would extend all support necessary to the Indian government. “Terrorism threatens both countries, and we should join hands in fighting this scourge,” he said, in a statement.A spokesman for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has denied that the extremist group was involved in the Bombay attack. The group, which has been fighting Indian forces in Kashmir, has continued to operate from its base in Pakistan under the banner of Jamaat-ud Dawa despite being proscribed by the government.“We have nothing to do with the Mumbai (Bombay) attacks," the spokesman said on phone. The group, which is led by Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a former university professor, is the largest Pakistani-based group to have been involved in terrorist attacks inside India in the past.The group was blamed for bomb attacks on markets in New Delhi that killed more than 60 people in 2005, as well as an assault on India's parliament in 2001 that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a fourth war.An estimated 200,000 people participated in Jamaat-ud Dawa’s rally held last week in the central Punjab city of Muridke, indicating that the movement has grown in strength despite Islamabad’s claim of crackdown on Jihadist organisations.LeT’s main focus is jihad against India, which it considers an enemy of Islam. A party document declared that the group is fighting not only liberate Kashmir, but re-establish Muslim rule in whole of India. LeT is said to have developed a strong network in India among radical Muslims.The attacks in Bombay, and allegations of the involvement of Pakistani based militants, could strain already-fragile relations between two nuclear armed nations, which have fought three wars since their independence in 1947.“The statement of the Indian Prime Minister is premature and could escalate tension in the region,” said Tariq Fatmi, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington. “It will have a negative affect on the ongoing efforts to normalise relations between the two countries.”
Zahid Hussain, in Islamabad
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Mumbai Terror Attack Updates Day 2

- Group of hostages leaves Chabad Center on second night of Mumbai's seizure by Islamist terrorists.
- It is feared that none were Israelis although several are known to be held in the building.
- Israel-India flights continue on schedule. One carried a group of Israeli doctors for Mumbai.
- The Islamist terrorists attacking Mumbai for the second day came from outside the country, believed Pakistan.
- Indian security sources report many Israeli hostages in the Oberoi Hotel, which the terrorists still control amid sustained gunfire in the lobby.
- Heavy battles resume in the Taj Palace Hotel.
- Indian naval troops board the MV Alpha freighter suspected of having sailed the terrorists to Mumbai's shore from Karachi, Pakistan.
- Anti-tanks missiles handed out to Indian commando force battling terrorists at Taj Palace hotel.
- Indian general: Four or five terrorists inside Chabad Center.
- Islamist shooting attacks and blasts spread to southern Mumbai away from the hotel district
- Terrorists hurl grenades at Indian forces surrounding Chabad Center and the Oberoi hotel.
- Fighting flares up anew in the Taj Palace Hotel said to have been cleared Thursday. Some hostages escaped and many bodies were found in guests' rooms.
- Terrorists are still holed up at the Oberoi Hotel and Chabad Center with hostages, including Israelis, under police-commando siege.
- A woman and child held at Chabad center came out of the building.
- The Mumbai stock exchange stayed shut.
- Police sappers defused bombs containing RDX strewn across the town.
- International airlines canceled flights to the beleaguered Indian town.
- The terrorists wear elite military unit uniforms. Each has an automatic rifle, grenades and military-style kit.
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Islamist terrorists still hold hundreds of hostages for second night

By the second night of the Islamist attack on Mumbai, the Israeli foreign ministry situation room was still unable to reach dozens missing Israelis, some of whom were staying at the Chabad center in Mumbai, others at the Trident Oberoi hotel, when al Qaeda gunmen staged coordinated attacks on 11 mostly tourist locations across the city Wednesday, Nov. 26. At least 125 people have been killed and 327 injured across the city. An Israeli child with his Indian nanny escaped the Chabad Center early Thursday. Later that night, 9-10 people left the building, but none were identified as Israelis of Jews. Neither is their number inside the building known amid the general havoc.The Islamist terrorists still control the Chabad building as well as the Oberoi and Taj Palace hotels, where large numbers of Western hostages are held. Some escaped during the day. Indian police backed by Indian commando forces have fought their way into some parts of the Taj hotel, parts of which are burning, and discovered many bodies in the rooms.The gunmen reached Mumbai Wednesday by rubber dinghies in commando uniforms, armed with automatic rifles, grenades and explosives. They are believed to have come from Pakistan in a mother vessel. In the first stage of their assault on a dozen well-chosen tourist and landmark sites, they singled out British and American tourists and killed 11 Indian police officers, including Mumbai Police Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare. They also attacked a crowded railway terminus, the famous Leopold restaurant, a cinema and the St. George hospital which treats the city's foreigners. One group shot up the hospital as injured victims were brought in. New Delhi is on terror alert.
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Israel: 8 people seen near Chabad House not hostages

Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka.
Eight people seen outside the besieged Chabad House in Mumbai Thursday night were local Indians from a home in the same compound, and not Jewish or Israeli hostages from the Chabad House, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Thursday night, refuting media reports that the Chabad House hostages had been freed.The commando raid was continuing outside the Chabad House with the remaining members of the five families taken hostage still being held.Israel Radio reported that Indian forces were searching for other gunmen inside the building but that not a single a shot has been fired in the last hours of the building's takeover by Indian security forces.Nevertheless, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that the information received by Israel was only "partial" and that the Foreign Ministry could not confirm that eight hostages had been freed.Also, Channel 2 reported that one of the hostages had been forced at gunpoint to call the Israeli Consulate in New Delhi with the captors' demand for the release of several Islamic terrorists from Indian jails.A rabbi, his wife and several other Israelis had been held hostage, according to IBN, an Indian news agency.Newscasters were calling the raid the "final assault" on the Nariman House, where Chabad headquarters are located, adjacent to the Leopold Cafe, a major tourist center in Mumbai's Colaba area, which was also attacked Wednesday night.Chabad spokesman in Israel, Moni Ender, said there had been eight Israelis inside the house, including Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka Holtzberg.According to a Foreign Ministry estimate, a total of between 10 and 15 Israelis were being held by terrorists at both the Chabad House and the Oberoi Hotel.A Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Channel 2 that of the 119 listed as dead in the attacks, none were Israeli.Several senior Indian police and security officers were killed in the joint attack, which caused police to take more cautious measures before storming the Chabad House, said Indian reporters.Earlier, Reuters reported that one terrorist had been killed by Indian special forces in the Chabad House, but four others still remained barricaded inside, where they were holding off efforts to reach those inside.On Thursday morning, Moshe Holtzberg, the toddler son of the Chabad emissaries, was rushed from the house in the arms of one of the Chabad House's employees, Sandra Samuel."I took the child, I just grabbed the baby and ran out," said Samuel, 44, who has worked as a cook for the center for the last five years.She said that the rabbi and his wife, along with two other unidentified guests, were alive but unconscious."Pray that we should hear good news," urged a Chabad spokesman, Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, in a telephone conversation with The Jerusalem Post from New York in the early hours of Thursday morning, Israel time.Shmotkin also said that the gunmen had seized a police vehicle, which allowed them access to the area around the Chabad House.Joshua Runyan, the news editor of the Chabad.org/news website, told the Post that there had been "several reports that shots were fired in the vicinity of the Chabad House, and unconfirmed reports on CNN of casualties in the Nariman House." Nariman House, Runyan said, was the original name of the Chabad House, which was purchased two years ago.Runyan, who is currently in Jerusalem, said that a friend of the rabbi's had received an email from Holtzberg, unrelated to the attacks, at around the time of the attacks or shortly before they began, but that there had been no contact with Holtzberg since. "Since then, we've been trying all the numbers," he said.Indian news agencies reported that three people were killed in or close to the Chabad House.The dead were not hostages, the reports said.Phone calls by the Post to the Chabad House and to the Holtzbergs went unanswered late Wednesday night and in the early hours of Thursday morning. Friends of the Holtzbergs placed messages on various Internet sites appealing for information about them.Israel Radio reported that consulate staff were visiting local hospitals. Runyan said the Chabad House was a popular tourist destination and that "Israelis regularly come by and visit."In an article on the chabad.org Web site, Runyan wrote that "Chabad-Lubavitch representatives in New York and Israel are working alongside the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the US Consulate in Mumbai and a volunteer team of local residents to ascertain the well being of the Holtzbergs and other Jews in the area."He added, "People are urged to say Psalms for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis, and anyone affected by the tragedy."
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Terrorists Storm Chabad House In Mumbai:
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