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Pakistani man convicted for 2008 Mumbai siege

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Mumbai terror siege suspect found guilty
  • Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was found guilty of murder, conspiracy and waging war
  • Two Indian nationals accused of conspiracy were acquitted
  • More than 160 people were killed in November 2008 attack
  • India blames Lashkar-e-Tayyiba for attacks; group denies responsibility

Mumbai, India (CNN) -- The only surviving gunman from a three-day terror attack on the Indian city of Mumbai was convicted Monday of murder, conspiracy and waging war on India.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani, could face the death penalty or life in prison. A judge is expected to sentence him Tuesday.

Two Indian nationals accused of conspiracy were acquitted, and the prosecutor said he would fight the acquittal.

"I will challenge it and will recommend the government to appeal," public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters after the verdict.

Nikam insisted that the "evidence" that he had would eventually establish the role of the acquitted Indian suspects -- Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed -- in the plot.

Video: Mumbai suspect's confession
Video: Looking back at the Mumbai attack
  • India
  • Mumbai
  • Terrorism

More than 160 people were killed in Mumbai in November 2008, as 10 men attacked buildings including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and Oberoi-Trident hotels, the city's historic Victoria Terminus train station, and the Jewish cultural center, Chabad House.

The assault lasted three days. Kasab was photographed holding an assault weapon during the attacks.

India's home minister P. Chidambaram expressed satisfaction over the verdict and described it as a message to Pakistan "not to export" terror to India.

"The judgment itself is a message to Pakistan that they should not export terror to India," the home minister said.

"If they do, and we apprehend the terrorists, we will be able to bring them to justice and give them exemplary punishment.

"The trial of Kasab underlines the fact that India is a country governed by the rule of law," he said, asserting that the suspects had been given a fair trial with an opportunity to defend themselves.

India blamed the attacks on the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a Pakistan-based terror group allied with al Qaeda.

Authorities said Kasab was trained by the organization, which was banned in Pakistan in 2002 after an attack on India's parliament. The group denied responsibility.

The Mumbai attack derailed a fragile peace process between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan for about 15 months.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani met last week in an effort to resume a peace process that was derailed by the 2008 attack on Mumbai.

Indian forces killed nine suspects in that attack. Their bodies were embalmed and kept in a hospital morgue as some local Muslim groups refused them a burial in their graveyards, saying the attackers were not true followers of Islam.

An Indian official in Maharashtra state, where Mumbai is located, said a burial took place in January this year. He did not give the date or the exact location of what he described as a secret funeral.

CNN's Sara Sidner and Harmeet Shah Singh contributed to this report.