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Mumbai 26/11 probe complete, trial to start next week: Pakistan

world Updated: Jul 11, 2009 19:20 IST
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The trial of five men accused in the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people is likely to start next week, Pakistan's interior minister said on Saturday.

Rehman Malik said the investigation into the role that the five played in the three-day siege of the Indian city of Mumbai last November is "almost complete."

He said the five men are in custody, and "their trial is going to commence probably next week."

Malik also rejected allegations _ leveled by India _ that Pakistan dragged its feet in the investigation, saying that with Saturday's announcement "we have proved that we are serious." There was no immediate reaction to Malik's comments from Indian officials.

New Delhi blames the assault on militants trained in Pakistan and has pushed Islamabad to move swiftly to hunt down those responsible for orchestrating the attack.

India has also demanded that Islamabad hand over the suspects, but Pakistan has rejected that call, saying it would try any suspects in its own courts.

The US and other Western countries are also closely watching Pakistan's efforts to punish the militant suspects accused of planning and aiding the November 26-28 attacks in the Indian financial center that also wounded scores.

Indian security forces killed nine of the Mumbai attackers and arrested the lone survivor, Agmal Kasab, who New Delhi said belonged to the Pakistani militant outfit, Laskhar-e-Taiba. He told investigators the militants were trained on Pakistani soil and the attack was planner there.