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India turns down Israeli offer to send commandos

Harinder Mishra in Jerusalem | November 28, 2008 18:04 IST

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India has turned down an offer by Israel to send its crack commandos to Mumbai, where a Jewish centre has been taken over in the terrorist attack which have claimed so far over 160 lives, media reports said in Jerusalem.

"India said a polite no to an offer by Israel for dispatching counter terror forces," prominent daily Haaretz reported.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni separately offered Israel's assistance to India on Thursday in dealing with terror attacks and its aftermath.

"It appears the Indian government is not interested in high profile security assistance from Israel. Throughout the day,  the Homefront Command prepared to send an aid delegation to India but efforts were halted when it became clear that Delhi [Images] was not enthusiastic about the prospect," the daily said.

Condemning the attacks, the Israeli defence minister stressed that the "attacks were part of the wave of global terror that Israel was very familiar with and that free world countries that pursue peace must fight against."

He also expressed concern over the fate of Israelis caught up in the attacks and thanked the Indian government for its efforts.

Livni called upon her Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, to show solidarity and condemn the heinous attacks.

The Israeli move came as Tel Aviv is concerned over an unspecified number of its nationals missing in Mumbai, which was struck by coordinated terror attacks.

All over Israel, residents were glued to their TV sets following Indian commandos operations at Nariman building, which houses one of the biggest Jewish centres.

Media reports said six Israelis are believed to be among those being held in Nariman House.

Another 20 or so Israelis were unaccounted for in the Indian commercial capital, a foreign ministry official said.

Israel's Zaka Humanitarian Organisation said, it was sending a team of eight paramedics to Mumbai.

Livni has asked Pranab for help in getting real-time information on the developments in Mumbai and for Indian government's assistance in evacuating Israelis from the areas

where the attacks took place.

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