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12 December 2017 15:54 (South Africa)

Pakistan charges seven in Mumbai terror raids

Seven men accused of planning last year’s terror attacks in Mumbai have now been charged on the eve of the anniversary of the assault that killed 163 people. The seven include the suspected organiser, Zaki ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the operational commander of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. All have pleaded not guilty. Following announcements that the Pakistani authorities were holding several men thought to be associated with the assault, there were months of postponements and closed-door hearings before the indictments were issued on Wednesday. The assault significantly worsened India-Pakistan relations as Pakistan denied any involvement in the raid, leading India to suspend peace talks and demand Pakistan bring the plotters to book. How the trials progress will be a key test of Pakistan’s willingness to pursue the case regardless of where it leads. Pakistan continues to claim it has insufficient evidence for a case against the man both Indian and Western officials say was behind the attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. For more, read the New York Times

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