Pakistan court grants bail to alleged Mumbai attacks mastermind

Pakistan court grants bail to alleged Mumbai attacks mastermind

ISLAMABAD - A court in Pakistan on Thursday granted bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the man accused of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, lawyers told AFP.

The 60-hour siege on India's economic capital left 166 people dead and was blamed on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals worsened dramatically after the carnage in Mumbai, in which 10 gunmen attacked luxury hotels, a popular cafe, a train station and a Jewish centre.

Pakistan has had five Mumbai suspects in custody for more than five years and the failure to advance their trials has been a source of particular irritation in perennially-frosty ties with India.

"We had moved a bail application with the Islamabad anti-terror court on December 10, today the judge granted bail to my client after hearing arguments from both sides," Lakhvi's lawyer Rizwan Abbasi told AFP.

Prosecutor Mohammad Chaudhry Azhar confirmed the court had granted bail.

The court's decision comes a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to crack down on terror groups in Pakistan, after Taliban gunmen massacred 148 people at a school.

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