India charges 'Mumbai gunman'

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Indian police have charged a man they say is the lone surviving gunman from last year's Mumbai attacks with "waging war" on India.

Ujjwal Nikam, the special public prosecutor, told reporters that 37 other people, including Indians and Pakistanis, were charged with planning and abetting the attacks that killed 179 people and revived tensions between India and Pakistan.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the alleged surviving gunman, was not in court because of security concerns. Mr Nikam said he expected the trial to last for up to six months. The accounts of more than 100 witnesses and evidence provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation will form part of his case.

If found guilty, Mr Kasab and his alleged co-conspirators face the gallows. Police said this week that other evidence included transcripts of phone calls between the attackers and their "handlers" in Pakistan, video footage from attack sites, and a confession by Mr Kasab.

The charges of "waging war" on India mean there is almost no chance Mr Kasab would be handed over to Pakistan for trial. He was captured during the attacks while nine other gunmen, who India says were Pakistani militants, were killed. India has said the gunmen must have been supported by Pakistani security agencies.

Pakistan has acknowledged that the raid had been launched and partly planned from within its borders. It is conducting its own investigation and has detained several Islamist leaders. India, which claims its neighbour has not done enough to bring the attackers to justice, has given Pakistan data from phones used by the attackers and Mr Kasab's confession.