Guests Return to Battered Mumbai Hotels

Reopening marks city's quick rebound
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2008 1:49 AM CST
Guests check-in at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers after its re-opening in Mumbai yesterday.   (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)
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(Newser) – Both five-star Mumbai hotels targeted in last month's deadly terror attacks reopened for business yesterday, marking the defiant rebound with glitz and prayer, reports the Los Angeles Times reports. Amid tight security, Bollywood stars and top government officials celebrated at the century-old Taj Mahal—whose flaming building became the iconic image of the three-day siege that claimed more than 170 lives. Nearby, the Oberoi's rebirth began with solemn prayer led by leaders from eight faiths.

This "will send a message that we can come alive again in record time," said the Taj Mahal's owner. Boarded-up windows were visible on closed portions of both structures—the parts where the most brutal fighting took place. It may take a year to completely repair the destruction wreaked by suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.