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Indian Security Officials: Battle Continues at Taj Hotel


More than 48 hours after terrorists first laid siege to India's financial capital, Mumbai, security forces say they have gained control over all but one of the targeted sites.

Indian security officials report they have taken control of both the Oberoi-Trident hotel and Chabad House Jewish center, and cleared both buildings of militants.

But the director general of India's National Security Guards, J.K. Dutt, said the battle is ongoing at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where at least two gunmen were believed to be holed up.

Earlier on Friday, Dutt said commandoes killed two militants and recovered the bodies of five hostages from the Jewish center.

At least 140 people have been killed, including at least 16 foreigners, in highly coordinated attacks that took place on Wednesday. A group of militants who arrived in Mumbai by boat targeted some 10 locations, including hotels, a hospital, and a train station.

At least three U.S. citizens are among the dead, including a U.S.-based rabbi who was in the Chabad House when it was seiged. His wife, an Israeli native, was also killed. Some hostages said the militants were targeting those with American and European passports.

High-ranking Indian security officials were also killed in the attacks.

Nine militants were confirmed dead and police say they have captured one gunmen. Earlier, police said they had arrested suspected members of the Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday he will tell "neighbors" that the use of their territory for launching terrorist attacks will not be tolerated.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said he does not believe Pakistan is involved in the attacks, and Pakistan's foreign minister (Shah Mehmood Qureshi) also urged India to avoid jumping to conclusions.

Shortly after the attacks began, Indian media reports said a previously unknown group, called Deccan Mujahideen, had claimed responsibility. It is not clear if that claim is credible.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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