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Pakistani Taliban Vows to Avenge Mumbai Gunman Execution

by VOA News November 22, 2012

The Pakistani Taliban is vowing to avenge India's execution of the sole surviving Pakistani gunman who took part in the 2008 terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was hanged in western India Wednesday amid secrecy after being convicted of murder and of waging war against India for his role in the attacks that killed 166 people. Kasab, who initially pleaded not guilty, but later confessed to his involvement in the three-day siege, was buried at the jail in the city of Pune, where he was put to death.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told news agencies on Thursday the militant group will attack Indian targets unless India returns Kasab's body to the Taliban or his family members in Pakistan.

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said efforts were made to contact both the Pakistani government and Kasab's relatives, but that no request to hand over his body had been received.

Kasab and nine other young, heavily-armed Pakistanis attacked luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in India's financial capital. India blamed the attack on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Separately on Thursday, Human Rights Watch urged India to immediately reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty.

The New York-based rights group said this week's hanging of Kasab marked "a step backwards for India's justice system."

Human Rights Watch urged India to take prompt action toward abolishing the death penalty. The group said Kasab was executed two days after India was among 39 counties that opposed a draft resolution by the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee calling for a global moratorium on capital punishment. The resolution was adopted with 110 votes in favor.

The rights group opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.



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