Verdict in India's Worst Terror Attacks to Be Announced Sept. 12

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Verdicts for India's worst terror attacks, the Bombay bombings of 1993, will be announced on Sept. 12, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters that Justice Pramod Kode had started reading the judgment, but that the final verdicts would be announced Sept. 12.

The trial began June 6, 1995, and 686 witnesses have given testimony that fills 13,000 pages. The hearings ended in January 2003, and the judgment was delayed largely over procedural matters.

A total of 123 men and women were accused of involvement in the 1993 bombings, which killed 257 people. The accused range from small-time gangsters to housewives to a Bollywood movie star. Of them 30 are in prison, 93 are out on bail and 11 have died.

The bombs — packed into scooters, cars, buses and trucks and detonated over two hours in the afternoon — targeted the Bombay Stock Exchange, Air India offices, a state passport office, three hotels, a gas station and a movie theater.

The blasts apparently were revenge attacks for the demolition of a 16th century mosque in northern India by Hindu nationalists. The mosque's demolition sparked religious riots in many parts of the country, leaving more than 800 people dead, most of them Muslims.

Earlier Thursday, authorities tightened security across the city, fearing violence.