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Death penalty for 38 over Indian bombings

An Indian court has sentenced 38 Muslim men to death and ordered life in prison for 11 others for a series of bomb blasts in 2008 in the city of Ahmedabad that killed more than 50 people, lawyers say.

The explosions had badly shaken the western state of Gujarat, where Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002 are believed to have killed thousands, mostly Muslims.

A group called the “Indian Mujahideen” had claimed responsibility for the blasts on July 26, 2008.

Judge A.R. Patel ordered the punishment after the prosecution pressed for the death sentence describing the incident as a “rarest of rare case” in which innocent lives were lost.

A defence lawyer said they would appeal the verdict in a higher court.

“We had sought lenient sentences for the convicts as they have already spent more than 13 years in prison,” Khalid Shaikh told Reuters.

“But the court awarded death to the majority of them. We will definitely go for appeal.”

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