x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Taliban threatens to avenge India's execution of Mumbai gunman

The Pakistan Taliban wants Kasab's body returned to Pakistan, otherwise it threatens to unleash worse reprisals.

PESHAWAR // The Pakistan Taliban has threatened to avenge India's execution of Pakistani militant Ajmal Kasab, hanged for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

The umbrella organisation wants Kasab's body returned to Pakistan otherwise it would unleash worse reprisals, spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location, without going into details.

"We will take revenge of Kasab's martyrdom," Ehsan said.

"We strongly demand that his body be returned to Pakistan. If the body is not handed over [to the family] our reaction will be more severe," the spokesman added.

Kasab, 25, was hanged at a prison in western India on Wednesday after being convicted of "waging war on India" for his role in the three-day assault on India's commercial capital.

A former labourer and small-time criminal, he admitted to being a member of Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and was the only survivor of 10 heavily-armed Islamist gunmen who laid siege to the city.

The Pakistani Taliban also criticised the Islamabad government's tight-lipped response to the execution. The foreign ministry issued only a short statement condemning terrorism.

The organisation has claimed responsibility and been blamed for hundreds of suicide and gun attacks in Pakistan since beginning an insurgency in 2007 against the US-allied government.