MUMBAI, India – As the crisis in Mumbai approached its third day, Indian commandos fought running battles with militants on Friday, still struggling to end the murderous assault on India’s financial capital that has shaken the nation and raised perilous regional tensions with neighboring Pakistan.
Two Americans were confirmed killed, among a total of at least eight foreigners who the Indian authorities said had died during the attacks. In addition, five bodies of Israeli citizens were removed from a Jewish center, Chabad House, after Indian commando units stormed the attackers inside the building, Israeli officials said. The terrorists had executed the hostages during the commando raid, the Indian military said.
Shortly before night settled over the stricken city, the police said the death toll had reached 143 with the discovery of 24 bodies in the luxury Oberoi hotel, where the police had finally taken control and many guests were set free on Friday.
But the army’s operation at a second luxury hotel, the Taj, was only entering its “final phase,” according to the Indian military, with commandos battling one terrorist left inside who the army said was moving between two floors of the hotel, including an area that had been a dance floor for weddings and other parties. The army said two other terrorists had been killed overnight in the Taj hotel.