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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Death for Mumbai bombers
Scene of Mumbai blast, 1993
Hundreds were killed or wounded in the blasts
Three people have been sentenced to death in the trial of those accused of involvement in the 1993 serial bombings in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay).

The court ordered that Pervez Sheikh, Abdul Turq and Mohammed Mushtaq Tarani be hanged for planting bombs in India's financial capital.

The sentencing judge described the attacks as "heinous and shameful".

A total of 123 people were accused of involvement in the blasts that killed 257 people and wounded 713.

The attacks were allegedly organised by the Muslim-dominated underworld in the city in revenge for deadly Hindu-Muslim religious clashes a few months earlier.

Explosive-filled suitcase

In total, 100 people have been found guilty of involvement in the "Black Friday" attacks, which the BBC's Navdip Dhariwal in Delhi says were the most destructive and co-ordinated in the country's history.

His [Turq's] is the most heinous crime in the name of the riots
Judge PD Kode, speaking while sentencing Abdul Gani Turq

Our correspondent says that it is unusual for an Indian court to hand down the death penalty, and few people are actually executed.

Sheikh was found to have parked a scooter packed with explosives in a crowded Mumbai market, and to have left an explosives-filled suitcase in a city hotel.

Judge PD Kode told him that his acts had "disgraced the Muslim religion" and only served to increase communal tension between Muslims and Hindus.

Tarani was found guilty of placing a bomb inside a suitcase in a city hotel that caused extensive damage, and parking a scooter packed with explosives in a crowded central street, although the bomb did not go off.

Turq was convicted of loading a jeep with bombs near Mumbai's passport office.

The court found that this explosion caused more bloodshed than any other on the day, killing 88 people and injuring 159.

"His is the most heinous crime in the name of the riots," Judge Kode said while reading out his sentence.

Thirteen other convicted bomb planters still await sentencing.

Gangsters

Most of those convicted in the Mumbai bombings case have already been sentenced to jail terms.

Sanjay Dutt
Actor Sanjay Dutt has still to be sentenced

On Tuesday two men found guilty of planting explosives were spared the death penalty because the explosive devices failed to go off.

Those so far convicted include gangsters, smugglers, fishermen, customs officers, police officials, housewives and a famous Bollywood actor.

Many were found guilty in absentia, and correspondents say that 35 suspects remain at large, with many hiding in Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies.

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has been asked to be present in court on Saturday. He was cleared of conspiracy in the case but found guilty of possessing an illegal weapon and faces up to 10 years in jail.

The alleged masterminds of the blasts, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, have been on the run since 1993.

Indian investigators say they were assisted by Pakistan's intelligence service but Islamabad has denied any link.


SEE ALSO
Sanjay Dutt sentencing deferred
25 May 07 |  South Asia
Long wait for Mumbai blasts justice
13 Sep 06 |  South Asia
Mumbai blasts policeman gets life
22 May 07 |  South Asia
Death demanded for Mumbai guilty
15 Feb 07 |  South Asia
Mumbai blasts film nears release
07 Feb 07 |  South Asia

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