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Mumbai terror suspect recants confession

From Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
The Mumbai terror attacks claimed the lives of more than 160 people in November 2008.
The Mumbai terror attacks claimed the lives of more than 160 people in November 2008.
  • The last surviving suspect in the Mumbai terror attacks recants confession
  • Mohammed Ajmal Kasab says he was pressured by police to confess
  • Kasab is the only suspect caputred alive by police
  • The Mumbai attacks claimed more than 160 lives
  • Mumbai
  • India
  • Terrorism

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- The sole surviving suspect in Mumbai's terror attacks recanted his confession Friday, attorneys said.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab said he admitted to playing a role because he was pressured by police. But prosecutors downplayed his statement to the court as an attempt to delay the trial.

"He is a trained militant commando," said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. "We have clinching evidence against him."

Kasab, the only alleged gunman who was captured alive, stunned the court last July when he confessed his role.

He is allegedly one of 10 Pakistani nationals who killed more than 160 people in the attacks that targeted several landmarks in India's largest city, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and Oberoi-Trident hotels, a historic train station, a popular restaurant and a Jewish cultural center. The other nine gunmen were killed.

Prosecutors then said Kasab's guilty plea was an attempt to deflect attention from his alleged handlers in Pakistan. Friday, they said recanting the confession was Kasab's way of creating drama in the courtroom.

"His false claims will not impact the trial," Nikam said, adding that the prosecution had examined 610 witnesses in connection with the case and that compelling evidence existed against Kasab.

Indian authorities have said that Kasab was trained by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a militant group that was banned in Pakistan in 2002 after an attack on India's parliament. The group denied responsibility.

Kasab, who was photographed holding an assault weapon during the attacks, has changed his stance several times.