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On Friday morning, fresh gunshots and explosions were heard at Nariman House, the headquarters of the Orthodox Jewish group, Chabad Lubavitch. Helicopters circling overhead airdropped commandos onto the roof of the building as an unknown number of terrorists were thought to be holed up inside. Sources said it appeared more hostages were being held inside the building.

Witnesses told The Washington Times from Bombay that they could hear gunfire and explosions late Thursday night into Friday. One person trapped on the 20th floor of the Taj hotel said explosions had shaken his room. Bodies wrapped in white shrouds were seen being brought out of the hotels throughout the day.

There were conflicting reports on the fates of eight Israelis, including a young rabbi and his wife, who had been held hostage at Nariman House. While Indian officials said they had been rescued, Western diplomats said some of them were still being held hostage.

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, meanwhile, warned Americans to defer travel to Bombay for at least the next 48 to 72 hours because of the “fluid situation” in the city. Those in Bombay were being asked to take shelter at their current location and to contact family and friends.

Maharashtra state police chief A.N. Roy said all hostages at the Taj hotel had been rescued, but there could be some still trapped at the Oberoi-Trident. He ruled out any negotiations with the terrorists, adding, “We will very soon get them either alive or dead.”

In what local media have dubbed “India’s 9/11,” an estimated 25 men armed with assault rifles and grenades, at least some of whom had arrived by sea, attacked several sites popular with tourists and businessmen across Bombay on Wednesday night.

By Friday morning, at least five terrorists and 14 police officers had been killed. Hemant Karkare, the chief of Bombay police’s counterterrorism squad, was among those killed.

Click here for an AP interactive map and here for an AP timeline. (Warning: Some images are graphic.)

State media reported that the attackers had set up “control rooms” in the two luxury hotels. Officials said the gunmen were prepared well, even carrying large bags of almonds to keep up their energy during the fight.

Ratan Tata, who runs the company #that owns the Taj, said the attackers appeared to have scouted their targets in advance.

“They seem to know their way around the back office, the kitchen. There has been a considerable amount of detailed planning,” he said at a press conference.

Law enforcement officials seized large caches of arms and ammunition, credit cards and food, suggesting the terrorists had planned a bigger and longer operation. Police also found a boat laden with explosives near the Taj, which is located on the waterfront.

Vowing to take “whatever measures are necessary” to bring the terrorists to justice, Mr. Singh said, India would not tolerate “neighbors” who provide shelter to militants.

In the past, terrorist attacks in India were blamed on its nuclear-armed western neighbor Pakistan, with whom India has waged three wars. However, Pakistani officials were quick to condemn the Bombay attacks and the veiled accusations from India.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, denied any involvement, saying that “terrorism is a threat to both India and Pakistan.”

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