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Central & South Asia
Death for 2003 Mumbai attackers
Court sentences three people to death for their role in bombings that killed at least 52.
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2009 15:45 GMT

At least 52 people were killed in the blasts that struck two busy areas of Mumbai in 2003 [AFP]

An Indian court has sentenced three people to death for their role in a 2003 bombing attack that killed at least 52 people in Mumbai, India's financial capital.

The special court ordered the death sentences on Thursday for Haneef Sayyed, his wife Fahmeeda, and Ashrat Ansari, following their convictions late last month for conspiracy and murder.

"The court has awarded the death sentence to all three found guilty in this rarest of rare case," the Reuters news agency quoted Ujjwal Nikam, the public prosecutor, as saying.

"We are happy that we have shown that people responsible for acts of terror will be punished in a befitting manner," he said.

'Links to Pakistan'

The three were found guilty in July over the attacks at the Gateway of India monument and in the gold and jewellery quarter of the Zaveri Bazaar.

The bombs were planted in two taxis and exploded within minutes of each other at lunchtime on August 25, 2003.

Police accused the group of being members of the so-called Gujarat Muslim Revenge Force, and said the bombings were retaliation for Hindu attacks on Muslims during riots in Gujarat state in 2002.

Prosecutors said that they also had links to the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, which has been accused of planning last November's attack on Mumbai in which at least 166 people died.

The three defendants had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Two other men accused of providing and assembling the high-explosive RDX devices used in the attacks were previously acquitted by the court.

Source:
Agencies
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