South Asia

Court stays Mumbai gunman Qasab death penalty

Mumbai gunman, identified as Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab
Image caption Qasab was found guilty of mass murder

India's Supreme Court has stayed the execution of the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai (Bombay) attacks, while an appeal is considered.

Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab filed an appeal against his death penalty at the Supreme Court in July.

The attack claimed 165 lives. Nine other gunmen were also killed.

Qasab was found guilty of waging war against India, multiple murder and conspiracy. He was sentenced to death in May last year.

In February, the high court in Mumbai rejected his appeal against the sentence.

The 60-hour siege which began on 26 November 2008 targeted luxury hotels, Mumbai's main railway station and a Jewish cultural centre.

Qasab and an accomplice carried out the assault on the station, killing 52 people.

The attacks soured ties between India and Pakistan, with India blaming Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks.

After initial denials, Pakistan acknowledged that the assault had been partially planned on its territory and that Qasab was a Pakistani citizen.

But despite charging seven people in connection with the attacks, the Pakistani authorities have yet to convict anyone.

Relations with India have been slowly improving and the two countries have resumed peace talks.

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