Mon, December 22, 2008
World > Asia-Pacific > India terror attacks

Mumbai's targeted hotels reopen partly

2008-12-22 00:44:32 GMT2008-12-22 08:44:32 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Security personnel search journalists before entering Trident-Oberoi hotel for a press conference in Mumbai December 20, 2008. Trident, the tower block of the Trident-Oberoi hotel, will reopen on Sunday nearly a month after 22 visitors and 10 employees were killed in the siege by gunmen at the Luxury hotel.[Agencies]

A gate attendant at Trident-Oberoi hotel greets a journalist after a press conference in the hotel in Mumbai December 20, 2008. Trident, the tower block of the Trident-Oberoi hotel, will re-open on Sunday nearly a month after 22 visitors and 10 employees were killed in the siege by gunmen at the Luxury hotel.[Agencies]

Security personnel with sniffer dogs walk outside the lobby of the Trident-Oberoi hotel after a press conference in the hotel in Mumbai December 20, 2008. Trident, the tower block of the Trident-Oberoi hotel, will re-open on Sunday nearly a month after 22 visitors and 10 employees were killed in the siege by gunmen at the Luxury hotel.[Agencies]

Security personnel walk down a corridor of the tower section of the Taj Mahal hotel after it reopened in Mumbai December 21, 2008. The luxury hotel, which was attacked by armed militants last month, reopened its tower section on Sunday. [Agencies]

A man arranges wares at a shop in the Trident-Oberoi hotel in Mumbai December 20, 2008. Trident, the tower block of the Trident-Oberoi hotel, will re-open on Sunday nearly a month after 22 visitors and 10 employees were killed in the siege by gunmen at the Luxury hotel.[Agencies]

A Hindu priest chanted prayers and a Muslim cleric read from the Quran as the Trident Hotel at the Oberoi complex reopened amid tight security on Sunday, three weeks after it was targeted in a militant rampage.

Sniffer dogs patrolled the grounds outside, police officers stood behind sandbag bunkers and guards checked bags and IDs as the hotel opened to guests for the first time since gunmen attacked the Oberoi and nine other sites across Mumbai on Nov 26.

The band of accused Islamic militants killed 164 people over the course of a three-day siege, including dozens of guests and staff members at the sea-front Oberoi complex - home to the Oberoi and Trident hotels - and another luxury hotel, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace and Tower.

The main areas of the Oberoi and Taj hotels, which were severely damaged by grenades and gunfire, are expected to remain closed for months.

But with the holidays approaching, the hotels rushed to open sections to guests, assuring them security has been upgraded with more private guards, sophisticated baggage and X-ray scanners, metal detectors and stringent ID checks.

"We can be hurt but we will never fall," Ratan Tata, chairman of the Taj owner Tata Group, told reporters shortly before his hotel was to start checking in new guests.

Trident Hotel President Rattan Keswani said 100 rooms are open to guests, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

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