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Operation At Mumbai Jewish Center Ends, Hostages Dead

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- Five hostages inside the besieged Jewish centre in Mumbai were found dead on November 28, the city's police chief told Reuters.

"Five hostages have been killed and the place is yet to be fully secured, which we hope to do soon," Hasan Gafoor, the Mumbai police commissioner, said by telephone.

Several hostages, including Israelis, have been held at the centre by suspected Islamist gunmen since the evening of November 26.

The militants had been holding hostages, including an Israeli rabbi and wife, at the centre for almost 48 hours.

An Israeli rescue service run by Orthodox Jews said staff it had sent to Mumbai to help also believed that hostages in the Chabad centre had died.

"Apparently the hostages did not remain alive," the Zaka service said in a brief statement quoting its staff in Mumbai, without elaborating.

Earlier a huge crowd of onlookers cheered as a group of Indian commandos left the besieged Jewish centre, prompting local television channels to announce the operation to dislodge the gunmen had ended.

Some people punched the air with their fists. Other commandos chatted on the roof of the building, looking relaxed.

The Mumbai police chief said the operation was still in its final stages, while Dutt said the third floor of the building had not been secured.

A short while before, the commandos had blown up a hole in the outer wall of the building.

The iron bars of Jewish centre windows were twisted after repeated gunfire during the two-day siege.