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Israel awaits Mumbai attack dead

Orphan Moshe Holtzberg with his grandfather Shimon Rozenberg in Mumbai - 28/11/2008
Moshe Holtzberg with his grandfather after the attack that killed his parents

Israeli and Jewish victims of the Mumbai attacks are to be flown to Israel for burial, officials there say.

The two-year-old son of a rabbi and his wife, who were killed at a Jewish centre, will also be flown to Israel with the Indian nanny who saved him.

Israeli religious leaders have called for special arrangements to be made to allow her to stay in Israel.

Six Jews were killed at the centre in the attacks on multiple sites in Mumbai that left more than 170 people dead.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Andy David said workers were collecting the remains of the victims and they would be flown back to Israel later on Monday on a special air force flight.

They are expected to be buried on Tuesday.

Four of those killed in the Chabad community centre were Israeli, including toddler Moshe's parents - Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivkah, 28, who together ran the site.

'Righteous Gentile'

Moshe's nanny, Sandra Samuel, hid in a downstairs closet when gunmen attacked the building on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning, with gunmen still in the building locked in a stand-off with commandos, she heard the boy calling her name, media reports quoted her as saying.

Aftermath of fighting in Chabad centre - 30/11/2008
At this point [Sandra Samuel is] the only one the boy is responding to
Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Aharonov
Chabad official

She left her hiding place and ran up a flight of stairs to find Moshe in blood-stained clothes next to his dead parents and two other Israelis.

She picked up the child and ran out of the building.

Indian commandos stormed the building the following day and killed several gunmen in a fierce battle.

The Israeli foreign ministry was said to be considering granting Ms Samuel the status of "Righteous Gentile" - one of the highest honours Israel can bestow on non-Jews - which would allow her to remain in Israel for some time.

She has worked at the Chabad centre for five years and began caring for Moshe after he was born.

A Chabad official, Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Aharonov, urged Israeli officials to grant Ms Samuel a visa so she could stay in Israel with Moshe.

"At this point she's the only one the boy is responding to," he told Israeli website Ynet.

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