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Homeland Security

Anti-terrorist operation draws to close in traumatized Mumbai

RIA Novosti

28/11/2008 10:29 NEW DELHI, November 28 (RIA Novosti) - A senior Indian army general said on Friday that an anti-terrorist operation in the country's commercial capital of Mumbai, hit by a wave of terrorist attacks on Wednesday evening, was coming to an end.

Lt. Gen. Noble Thamburaj told journalists that the end of the operation was "a matter of hours" away.

His words came shortly after commandoes had abseiled onto the roof of a Jewish center where gunmen were holding Israeli nationals captive, and as shocked and weary hostages were led en masse from the city's luxury Oberoi hotel.

Both buildings were attacked by militants as part of series of coordinated attacks on high-profile soft targets in Mumbai that left at least 130 people dead. A number of reports have said the terrorists were attempting to round up British and American passport holders.

Thamburaj also said that one militant may still be holding two hostages in the five-star Taj Mahal Hotel. Fighting was also continuing at Nariman House, which contains the office of a Jewish organization.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blamed the attacks on groups based "outside the country," in what was widely seen as a reference to neighboring Pakistan. The two nuclear-armed countries have fought three wars since 1947.

Singh also said that India would "take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens." Pakistan has condemned the attacks.

The Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba has denied any involvement in the attacks. A previously unknown group called the Deccan Mujahideen has taken responsibility, but the claim has yet to be verified.

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