Mumbai attacker pleads guilty in court

The lone surviving gunman from the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people in November and raised tensions between India and Pakistan pleaded guilty in court on Monday, police said.

Pakistani citizen Mohammad Ajmal Kasab (21) pleaded guilty in a Mumbai court and was recording his confession there, the police officer overseeing the probe into the attacks told Reuters.

“Yes, he has pleaded guilty in court today [Monday] for the November attacks during a hearing,” senior police officer Rakesh Maria said.

Kasab, who had been videotaped carrying an AK-47 assault rifle while carrying out the assault on Mumbai’s main train station, had been charged with 86 separate offences including murder and waging war against India.

“He has confessed to his role and the fact that he was involved in the attacks that killed so many people during the attacks, the planning and the execution,” Maria told Reuters.

Kasab had pleaded not guilty in May. He was the only one of the 10 gunmen captured alive during the November 26 to 28 attacks on targets including two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and the train station. India has charged 38 people, including Kasab, over the attack, but most of the accused are in Pakistan, the Indian government says.

New Delhi has demanded Pakistan take concrete action against the perpetrators of the attacks before it will consider reopening five-year old peace talks it broke off after the attacks in November.

The assault on India’s financial capital raised tensions between the nuclear rivals who have been to war three times since their independence from Britain in 1947.

Both sides have exchanged angry rhetoric since the attack, with India saying the gunmen must have had support from official Pakistani agencies. Islamabad denies that, but has acknowledged that the raid had been launched and partly planned from Pakistan.

It has detained several Islamist leaders, including some whom India has named as planners of the guns-and-grenade assault on Mumbai.—Reuters

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