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Page last updated at 00:06 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Jewish centre seized in Mumbai

 Map of Mumbai showing location of attacks

Police are surrounding a Jewish centre in India's commercial capital, Mumbai, where an unknown number of people are being held hostage by gunmen.

They have been captive since a wave of co-ordinated attacks across the city began late on Wednesday, in which 119 people dead and 300 injured.

There have been reports of explosions at the centre, which is a base for the Jewish outreach group Chabad Lubavitch.

An Indian state official said earlier that seven hostages had been rescued.

The house, which acts as a centre for prayer and study, attracts many Jewish and Israeli visitors every year.

A local resident said shooting began at the centre at about 2145 (1615GMT) on Thursday.

Indian soldiers in Mumbai - 26 November 2008
Mumbai suffered co-ordinated attacks across the city starting on Wednesday
Earlier, a woman, child and an Indian cook were led out of the building by police, said one witness.

The child was identified as the two-year-old son of Rabbi Holtzberg.

There was no word on the rabbi's fate.

A spokesman for the Lubavitch movement in New York, Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, said he did not know the status of Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holzberg, the main representative at the centre.

Rabbi Shmotkin told the Associated Press: "It seems that the terrorists commandeered a police vehicle which allowed them easy access to the area of Chabad House and threw a grenade at a gas pump nearby."

Chabad House is situated in the Nariman business and residential complex in south Mumbai.



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