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Terror-hit Mumbai hotels reopen on Sunday
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The Taj Hotel and the Trident hotel, the targets of Nov. 26 terror attacks, reopened on Sunday after three weeks of refurbishment work.

An armed policeman guards outside the Trident hotel of the Oberoi Group in Bombay, India, Dec. 21, 2008. The Oberoi Group owns Trident hotel and Oberoi hotel, which are located adjacent to each other and were attacked by terrorists last month. The Trident hotel resumed business Sunday after repairing for 20 days, however, the Oberoi hotel still needs to be repaired, due to serious damage.[Xinhua]

Indian Hotels chairman Ratan Tata said the restored iconic Taj hotel will be dedicated to those who lost their lives in the siege.

"We dedicate the restored hotel to those who have lost their lives," Tata said shortly before the Taj Hotel was reopened to guests.

"We cannot be knocked down -- this is a memorable day and a tribute to those who saved many lives," Tata said.

"To us, it was a challenge to have the hotel reopen within one month from attack," he said.

An official from the Taj said restaurants and eateries, some of which were marred by the indiscriminate violence, host guests once again. The Tower wing of the hotel has reopened, with 268 rooms available.

The Trident Hotel reopened following a multi-religious prayer meeting in its lobby attended by several prominent citizens, including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, on Sunday morning.

Some guests walked in amidst tight security to occupy the refurbished rooms to a traditional Indian welcome by saree-clad women staff of Trident.

"If a guest walks in, there won't be a single scratch to remind him or her of the attack," Trident President Rattan Keswani told reporters on the eve of the reopening of the 550-room, 35-storeyedhotel.

A guest enters into the Trident hotel of the Oberoi Group in Bombay, India, Dec. 21, 2008. [Xinhua]

Bookings for about 100 rooms have already been made at the hotel on Sunday and it was not immediately clear how many had been occupied so far.

The two landmark hotels in South Mumbai were attacked by terrorists, who killed guests and laid siege there for about two days that began on the night of Nov. 26. A total of 172 people, including nine of the 10 gunmen, died in the attacks.

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