Pakistan Taliban vows to attack Indian targets over Mumbai gunman execution

November 22, 2012

REUTERS

ISLAMABAD--Pakistan's Taliban movement threatened on Nov. 22 to attack Indian targets to avenge the country's execution of Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the militant squad responsible for a rampage through Mumbai that killed 166 people in 2008.

Kasab was hanged on Nov. 21 amid great secrecy, underscoring the political sensitivity of the Nov. 26, 2008, massacre, which still casts a pall over relations between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

"We have decided to target Indians to avenge the killing of Ajmal Kasab," said Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Ehsan demanded that India return Kasab's body.

"If they don't return his body to us or his family we will capture Indians and will not return their bodies," he said, adding that the Taliban will try to strike Indian targets "anywhere."

The Taliban, close to al Qaeda, is seen as one of the biggest security threats in Pakistan and is blamed for many of the suicide bombings across the country. The group has not carried out major attacks abroad.

Kasab was charged with 86 offences, including murder and waging war against the Indian state, in a charge-sheet running to more than 11,000 pages.

It was the first time a capital sentence had been carried out in India since 2004. There was celebration on the streets of Mumbai and other cities as news of the execution spread, but militant groups in Pakistan reacted angrily, as did residents of his home village of Faridkot.

People set off fireworks and handed out sweets in Indian cities. Some held up photos of Kasab with a rope noose superimposed over his head.

REUTERS
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In this Nov. 28, 2008 file photo, an Indian soldier takes cover during a gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

In this Nov. 28, 2008 file photo, an Indian soldier takes cover during a gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • In this Nov. 28, 2008 file photo, an Indian soldier takes cover during a gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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