Peres praises ‘heroic efforts’ of security forces in Mumbai

December 3rd, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Israeli President Shimon Peres has appreciated the “heroic efforts” of India’s security forces in rescuing hostages in Mumbai and said that his country is with India in the “crucially important” fight against terrorism. Six Israelis were amongst the 183 killed in the 60-hour terror siege in Mumbai, including the Nariman House Jewish centre and two luxury hotels.

In a message to President Pratibha Patil, Peres said that Israel “stands together with India in this crucially important fight to eradicate terrorism”.

“Israel very much appreciates the heroic efforts of India’s security forces, despite the adverse conditions and the casualties, to rescue the hostages and defeat the terrorists who carried out the atrocity in Mumbai,” he said.

Peres noted in the letter — sent Monday but released to media Wednesday — that he had been “deeply shocked and saddened by the murderous terrorist attack in Mumbai”. He urged: “Global terrorism is a major threat that must be combated without let-up.”

“The terrorists are the fanatical enemies of peace and stability to which we aspire and the values that we hold dear. Therefore, it is essential that all of us unite in this vital battle for freedom and human dignity,” he said.

There had been reports from Israel of experts criticising security operations. There had also been indication that some of the hostages at Nariman House could have been killed by bullets of Indian commandos.

This led to the Israeli foreign ministry trying to stem the tide of criticism, with Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post carrying a report warning that such unsubstantiated stories could damage relations between India and Israel.

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