One terrorist has been killed by Indian special forces in the Chabad House in Mumbai, but four others still remain barricaded inside and are holding off efforts to reach Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivka, and possibly others, who have been held hostage since multiple attacks rocked the city late Wednesday night, Reuters reported on Thursday morning.
Sky News reported that a loud explosion had been heard at the Chabad House. There was no official word as to the cause of the explosion, which could indicate an Indian attempt to storm the compound.
Earlier, the kidnappers apparently released the couple's young boy and his nanny, who said that the rabbi and his wife were alive but unconscious. Indian television showed footage of the young boy leaving the building with the nanny. The rabbi's mother confirmed to Army Radio that her two-year-old grandson had been released.
"Pray that we should hear good news," urged a Chabad spokesman, Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, in a telephone conversation with The Jerusalem Post from New York in the early hours of Thursday morning, Israel time. Chabad later said that it feared for the life of another man, the brother in law of a prominent Israeli rabbi, who may have been among those beind held hostage.
Joshua Runyan, the news editor of the Chabad.org/news website, told the Post that there had been "several reports that shots were fired in the vicinity of the Chabad House, and unconfirmed reports on CNN of casualties in the Nariman House." Nariman House, Runyan said, was the original name of the Chabad House, which was purchased two years ago.
There is something more than a little bit existentially depressing that even in India ‘kill the Jews’ still resonates as a valid motif. Tehillim can be said Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis.