09/08/2017, 10.00
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1993 Mumbai Massacre: Death Penalty to Two Culprits

Firoz Khan and Tahir Merchant will be executed. A third detainee, Abu Salem, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Explosions caused 257 deaths and 713 serious injuries. The bombs, placed in dozens of targets, shocked a tranquil city.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A special Indian tribunal issued two death sentences for those responsible for the 1993 Mumbai massacres, during which 257 people died and 713 others were injured in severe conditions.

Firoz Khan and Tahir Merchant, both behind bars, have been charged with criminal conspiracy and murder. Another culprit, Abu Salem, who had tried to flee to Portugal but was extradited by the Lisbon authorities in 2005 (with the promise he would have escaped execution in case of liability), was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The sentencing has takenyears and was part of the second round of investigations into the attacks that upset the capital of Maharashtra. All in all, seven guilty suspects were arrested between 2003 and 2010 and tried separately. In June, the Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity Tribunal (Tada) in Mumbai found six of them guilty and ordered the trial. A detainee, Mustafa Dossa, died of heart attack shortly after entering prison. Yakub Memon, considered the mastermind of the attacks, was hanged in 2015.

The explosions of '93 targeted dozens of different objectives, including the Mumbai Stock Exchange (Bombay Stock Exchange), the offices of the Air India flagship company and a luxury hotel. The attacks shocked a city that was reputed to be quiet, peaceful and multiethnic, creating sectarian divisions.

Although no clarity was ever made on the matter, the bombs were seen as a Muslim response to the demolition of Babri's mosque in Ayodhya by Hindu extremists in December 1992.

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