The lone surviving gunman in last November's Mumbai terror attacks admitted to his role in the shooting rampage in a dramatic confession Monday in an Indian court, reversing months of denials.
Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani national, on trial since April 17 in a special court, stood up just as a prosecution witness was to take the stand and addressed the judge. "Sir, I plead guilty to my crime," he said, triggering a collective gasp in the courtroom.
Judge M.L. Tahiliyani, who was also apparently taken aback, called lawyers from both sides to decipher the significance of Kasab's statement.
A total of 166 people, including six Israeli and Jewish occupants of the local Chabad House, were killed in the attacks by 10 gunmen in Mumbai, India's financial capital, that began November 26 and ended three days later with troops storming the Taj Mahal Hotel where some gunmen were holed up.