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Indian Court Adjourns Trial of Mumbai Terror Suspect


An Indian court has adjourned the trial of a Pakistani man who unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty and confessed that he was one of the 10 gunmen who carried out last year's terror strikes in Mumbai. His confession reconstructs how the three-day siege of India's financial capital was conducted.

The trial was adjourned after 21-year-old Mohammed Ajmal Kasab revealed more details of his role in the terror strikes in Mumbai.

Kasab was the only gunman to be captured alive when extremists stormed several targets in India's financial hub last November. He initially pleaded innocent when the trial began in May, but took both the prosecution and defense by surprise on Monday by saying he was guilty and making a detailed confession.

Kasab has said he was recruited by the Pakistani-based Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. On Tuesday he said he had orders to take hostages on the upper floor of the city's main railway station, where he and an accomplice opened fire and threw grenades. He said he was told to fight the police if they came to rescue them.

The attacks in and around the station were among the bloodiest, killing 52 people.

The court banned the reporting of a message, which he said he wanted to give to those who sent him to conduct the attacks.

The judge deferred a decision on whether to accept his confession.

Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said they will study the confession to see whether it covers all the 86 charges against him, including murder and waging war against India.

"I have to discuss the entire things with my police officers, and we are minutely evaluating his statement, which he has made," Nikam said.

In this statement, Kasab has accounted how the attacks were executed from Pakistan. He has claimed he left his job as a shop assistant in the Pakistani town of Jhelum because of poor wages, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba trained him in using weapons.

Kasab has said he lived in a house in Karachi with 10 other men for six weeks before coming to Mumbai by boat to carry out the terror strikes.

He says in Mumbai he and the other gunmen split into pairs to strike at different targets.

He and his accomplice took a taxi to the rail station, where they opened fire. They then went to a hospital where some guards were killed. The pair then hijacked a vehicle and went to a popular beach where Kasab was caught and his accomplice was killed.

Kasab says he confessed after learning that the Pakistani government had admitted he was a Pakistani citizen.

Islamabad has admitted that the attacks were partly plotted on its soil, and has arrested five people in connection with the attacks.

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