Indian paramilitary forces launched an assault against terrorists holed up in a Chabad center in the city of Mumbai on Friday morning.
The commandos rappelled onto the roof of the Chabad center from a hovering helicopter, and then proceeded to clear the building floor by floor. Witnesses at the scene reported numerous loud explosions and steady gunfire for several hours.
The terrorists were believed to still be holding several employees of the Jewish outreach center hostage by Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Indian commandos also assaulted the nearby Oberoi hotel, killing several terrorists and freeing at least two dozen hostages, among them two Israelis. At least 25 more hostages were found dead inside the hotel.
The Indian government on Friday subtly turned down an offer of major security and humanitarian aid from Israel as the nightmare in Mumbai continues. While the identity of the terrorists remains unclear, what is certain is that they were targeting India's relations with the US, Britain and Israel. Indian officials are apparently concerned that a large-scale, public supply of Israeli aid would only exacerbate the situation.
Ha'aretz did report, however, that a team of Israeli intelligence officers had been dispatched to India to assist in analyzing the attacks.