Mumbai train bomb 2006
Railway workers and officials clear debris from a train that was ripped open by the 2006 Mumbai bombingGetty Images

Five people have been sentenced to death for a series of synchronised bombs that tore through packed Mumbai commuter trains in 2006. Seven of the 12 convicted men were handed life imprisonment by the specially convened court.

Seven coordinated explosions ripped through carriages over a 15-minute period during evening rush hour on 11 July 2006. The attacks killed 189 people and injured over 800 others, leaving the railway tracks strewn with body parts as confusion and panic took hold in the aftermath of the incidents, which was further compounded when the local mobile phone network collapsed.

Earlier this month, the 12 men were convicted of murder, conspiracy and waging war against the country. Outside court, a defence lawyer told reporters that the accused were "innocent" men who had been "framed" and that the verdict would be appealed. The trial lasted for eight years and one person was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.

Prosecutors had asked for eight of the convicts to be handed the death sentence, calling them "merchants of death". They also said that the onslaught was concocted by Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and executed by operatives of Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba with assistance from the Students' Islamic Movement of India, a banned organisation. Pakistan has denied the accusations, saying India had presented no evidence of the country's involvement in the terror attacks.

The attack appears to have targeted the wealthy community in India's financial capital, with the explosives being packed into pressure cookers and hidden in bags covered by newspapers in first-class compartments. Mumbai's overcrowded suburban train network transports over eight million people a day.

During the protracted eight-year trial, which concluded in August 2014, the court examined nearly 250 witnesses.