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Mumbai Jewish center attacked in 2008 reopens

MUMBAI -- A Jewish center in Mumbai reopened on Tuesday, nearly six years after heavily armed militants stormed the building and killed six people inside during the 2008 attacks on the city.

One of several high-profile targets assaulted by the gunmen, Chabad House in south Mumbai was left bullet-ridden and bereft of its directors Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his pregnant wife Rivky, who were both slain in the siege.

They were among 166 people killed in the three-day onslaught in November 2008, which also targeted luxury hotels, a popular cafe and a train station.

The refurbished five-story Chabad House has a synagogue, a cafeteria and a function room for the Jewish community. The top two floors, due to be turned into a museum, have been left bearing the damage from bullets and grenades as a reminder of the tragedy.

In the synagogue, candles mark the spot where Rabbi Holtzberg was shot dead, and pictures of him, his wife and their surviving young child adorn the stairwells.

“I think this is really a message for the whole world,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, a prominent member of the orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch movement, who helped to rebuild the center.

“You can overcome challenges, even the most horrific of challenges. You can and must rebuild, and this project serves as a beacon of light and hope that evil will not prevail,” he said in a statement.

'Mixed reaction'

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Workers give the finishing touches to the synagogue inside Nariman (Chabad) House in Mumbai on Tuesday, Aug. 26. (AFP)

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