By CORKY SIEMASZKO, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Some of the Jews who were murdered in Mumbai died a slow and savage death.
The bodies of several found in the Chabad House appeared to have been strangled and bore wounds that weren’t caused by gunshots or grenades, Mumbai’s top cop Rakesh Maria said Thursday.
Maria did not say which victims were brutalized, but a Brooklyn rabbi and his wife were among those slaughtered last week after terrorists invaded and turned the Nariman House into a house of horrors.
Many of the bodies were badly damaged when Indian commandos began blasting the center in a botched rescue bid, complicating the grisly task of gathering all the remains for burial as required by Jewish law, Israeli sources said.
“If they were tortured, it would be hard to tell from looking at some of the bodies,” one Israeli source said. “They were that damaged.”
The horrific revelations were yet another blow for the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitcher community, which is mourning the deaths of Rabbi Gavriel Holztberg, 29, and his wife, Rivkah, 28. Both lived in Crown Heights before being dispatched to India in 2003.
Also slain was another former New Yorker who belonged to a Satmar sect, Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, 37.
Meanwhile, airports in India went on high alert Thursday following warnings of fresh terror attacks. The new scare came after India demanded that Pakistan turn over top leaders of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari promised Secretary of State Rice he would take “strong action” against the group, which they officially banned in 2002 after its followers attacked the Indian parliament.
The Indians want to get their hands on Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Yusuf Muzammil, the reputed masterminds of the 60-hour Mumbai siege that left nearly 200 dead.
They were believed to be hiding out in Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory claimed by Pakistan and India.
Baby-faced terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 21, the only one of the 10 killers captured alive, told investigators Lakhvi recruited him for the operation.
Kasab said they contacted Muzammil by satellite phone after hijacking the Indian vessel that got them to Mumbai. The terrorists also used cell phones taken from guests at the posh Mumbai hotels the terrorists raided to call a contact in the Pakistani city of Lahore, police said.
Maria did not identify the contact, but investigators are putting a serious squeeze on Kasab, who became infamous when he was photographed in Mumbai with his gun bared.
“A terrorist of this sort is never cooperative,” Deven Bharti, the head of the Mumbai’s detective division, told the Associated Press. “We have to extract information.”
Among other things, Bharti said they intend to give Kasab a “truth serum” to make him talk.
FBI agents are also in Mumbai, investigating the deaths of the slain former New Yorkers.
Kasab’s confession has fueled friction between India and Pakistan, nuclear neighbors that have fought several bloody wars. While Pakistan is a key U.S. ally, it has been accused of failing to crack down on the Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists operating openly in their midst.