Rabbi and wife among Mumbai victims
The rabbi held hostage with his wife in Mumbai are among those killed in the Chabad House attack, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement has confirmed.
Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, ran the movement's local headquarters, one of 10 buildings attacked on Thursday. Indian special forces had stormed the building at first light on Friday. Lowered on to the five-storey building by helicopters, they blew a large hole in the roof.
Then they slowly worked their way down from floor to floor. One commando was killed in gunfire which saw all the terrorists killed. For the next couple of hours, members of the Indian marine Commando continued to make controlled explosions of the grenades and explosives that the terrorists had left behind.
Only at nine in the evening (local time) did they leave and a group of Israelis, led by the military attaché in India, were allowed in. Many of the rooms had been destroyed in the heavy fighting. At least seven bodies were found in the building. One was found in the synagogue on the second floor.
The Holzberg’s toddler son, Moshe, had been released earlier with his nanny is now with his grandparents.
The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, had earlier expressed in a letter to the High Commissioner of India, Mr Shiv Shankar Mukherjee , his support and condolences for the people of Mumbai. "There is no greater tragedy than innocent loss of life. We share your grief, your trauma, your tears," he said.
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, of the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement in New York said: “In these attacks, terrorists targeted foreign nationals, underscoring the need for governments to work collectively to fight terrorism resolutely and effectively, so that the hands of those seeking to destroy life and disrupt peace will no longer reach their targets.”
In a joint statement, the six major faith communities in Birmingham, said they were “deeply shocked and saddened” by the attacks.
They added: “We unequivocally assert that such acts cannot find any measure of justification within any of our faith traditions. All our faiths are united in condemnation of indiscriminate slaughter.”
And an Inter Faith Network statement, members offered “prayers for those injured or bereaved” condemned terrorist violence; and “affirm the crucial importance of work to increase inter religious and inter community understanding in the UK as well as internationally”.