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India convicts two over 2007 blasts that killed 44

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 18, 2007 police stand outside the Macca Masjid mosque in Hyderabad following a deadly blast. The May bombing came three months ahead of the twin August 25 2007 attacks in Hyderabad that was blamed on the Islamic Indian Mujahideen group. An Indian court on September 4, 2018 convicted two members of the banned Islamist militant group over the August blasts that killed 44 people. / AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM

An Indian court Tuesday convicted two members of a banned Islamist militant group over bomb blasts in August 2007 in the southern city of Hyderabad that killed 44 people.

One explosion went off in an auditorium packed with families watching a laser show. Minutes later a second blast ripped through a congested street food stall in another part of the city.

Justice T. Srinivas Rao found Aneeq Shafique Sayeed and Mohammed Akbar Ismail Choudhury guilty and acquitted two others in the protracted case, a prosecution lawyer told reporters in Hyderabad.

The judge will announce sentences on Monday. The court is also likely to rule on the third accused, Tarik Anjum, who is charged with giving shelter to the bombers after the blasts.

“I demand that the accused be given the strictest punishment so that they understand the pain we are going through,” a blast survivor told reporters outside the special court.

The men belonged to the Islamic militant group Indian Mujahideen, which police say is an offshoot of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

In 2011 the US included Indian Mujahideen in its official blacklist of foreign terrorist organisations.

The trial heard testimony from 170 witnesses before closing arguments were made last month.

Three others accused in the case including the main conspirator Riyaz Bhatkal remain at large.


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