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Page last updated at 18:30 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Mumbai attacks defence lawyer gunned down - police

Indian policemen at the scene of the shooting in Mumbai. Photo: 11 February 2010
Shahid Azmi was reportedly shot several times at point blank range

A lawyer for one of three men accused of involvement in the deadly Mumbai (Bombay) attacks in 2008 has been shot dead, Indian police say.

Shahid Azmi was gunned down by unknown attackers in his office in Mumbai.

Mr Azmi represented Fahim Ansari, who - along with Sabahuddin Ahmed - is accused of aiding the gunmen who attacked Mumbai, killing 165 people.

It was not immediately known if the shooting was connected to the ongoing high-profile trial in the city.

Mr Ansari and Mr Ahmed are on trial with Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, a Pakistan citizen, who is alleged to be the sole surviving gunman.

Gunmen flee

The unknown attackers shot Mr Azmi in his office in Mumbai's northern suburb of Kurla, police said.

"We have to ascertain the identity of the assailants. We have some clues," police commissioner Deven Bharti was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

The lawyer was reportedly shot several times at point blank range by the gunmen, who then fled from the office.

Mr Azmi, said to be in his mid-30s, had been involved as a defence lawyer in a number of high-profile cases, including the 2006 train blasts in Mumbai which left 187 people dead.

Islamabad's admission

Fahim Ansari was arrested in 2008 allegedly carrying maps with details of Mumbai landmarks.

Taj Mahal hotel under attack in November 2008
The November 2008 attacks left more than 170 people dead

He and Sabahuddin Ahmed are suspected of scouting for those who attacked the city in November 2008.

The attacks left 174 people dead, including nine gunmen, and strained ties between India and Pakistan.

Delhi blames the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks.

Islamabad has admitted they were partly planned on its soil.



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