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Suspects convicted in Mumbai train bombings

Twelve men have been found guilty of planning the 2006 Mumbai train bombings which killed and injured hundreds. Prosecutors have said they will seek the maximum punishment during sentencing.

Suspects convicted in Mumbai train bombings

12 men have been found guilty of planning the 2006 Mumbai train bombings which killed and injured hundreds. Prosecutors have said they will seek the maximum punishment during sentencing.

An Indian court convicted 12 out of 13 accused men on Friday for their role in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. The men have been found guilty of planning the blasts which ripped through seven commuter trains in Mumbai, killing 180 and injuring an additional 800 people.

"The sentencing will take place on Monday," special public prosecutor Raja Thakare told reporters outside of the courthouse. He also announced that the thirteenth member was acquitted of all charges by the special trial court.

Judge Yatin D. Shinde convicted the men of murder, criminal conspiracy and waging war against the country. All of them now face the death penalty or life in prison.

"I want the strictest possible punishment for them," Thakare told news agency AFP on the phone. "Whatever sentence the judge hands out, it should be able to satisfy the public at large."

Prosecutors argued that the bombing plan was designed by Pakistan's Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and was carried out by Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants with the help of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India. All 12 members of the accused belonged to the banned militant group.

The trial has lasted for over seven years and involved testimony from over 200 witnesses with thousands of pages of depositions. The defense lawyer and Muslim rights activist, Shahid Azmi, was killed under mysterious circumstances in 2010.

The accused men planted seven bombs on packed trains which exploded during rush hour in Mumbai on July 11, 2006.

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rs/jil (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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