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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 June, 2005, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Mumbai bus bomb accused released
Bomb blast site in Mumbai, December 2002
The bomb was placed in an empty bus parked in a yard
A court in India's western city of Mumbai (Bombay) has freed the final eight defendants accused of a deadly bus bombing in 2002.

The special anti-terrorism court said there was a lack of evidence.

The blast in a bus in the city's Ghatkopar suburb killed two passengers and injured 50 in December 2002.

Police had initially accused 29 people - all Muslims - of involvement. Saturday's ruling has left no-one facing charges.

Nineteen of the 29 suspects were arrested. Ten of them were acquitted two years ago - also on the grounds of lack of evidence.

One man - Khwaja Yunis - disappeared in police custody. His friends and defence lawyers believe he died but his body has never been found.

A number of police officers were suspended over the case.

Earlier attacks

Local political leader, Abu Asim Azmi, who mobilised support to help the accused fight their case, said the truth had finally come out.

The December 2002 blast occurred near the railway station in Ghatkopar.

Police said the bus was empty and parked in a yard when the explosion took place at the rear of the vehicle.

Mumbai was the scene of a number of bomb blasts in March 1993 in which more than 250 people were killed.

They were allegedly masterminded by the city's mafia in retaliation for the demolition of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya by Hindu activists.

The Ghatkopar blast came a few days before the 10th anniversary of the Ayodhya incident, but the authorities did not prove any link.

In August 2003, 55 people died in explosions in Bombay that prosecutors alleged were carried out by members of the Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba. Five people have been charged.




SEE ALSO:
Bomb blast on Bombay bus
02 Dec 02 |  South Asia
Bombay alert after bus bombs
03 Dec 02 |  South Asia
Twin blasts cause Bombay carnage
25 Aug 03 |  South Asia
Bombay - city under fire
25 Aug 03 |  South Asia


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