The only gunman who survived the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008, after taking part in the killing spree that left 52 people dead in the city's main train station, has been hanged in India.

Pakistani Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab was executed in prison in Pune early on Wednesday, India's Home Ministry confirmed to the BBC.

The Pakistani government had sent a plea for clemency to Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, which was rejected earlier this month.

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A gunman identified by police as Ajmal Kasab walks through the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India

Aged 21, Kasab and an accomplice opened fire in the main railway station, but dozens of places were targeted in the country in a 60-hour siege in November 2008, in a co-ordinated series of bombings and shootings.

In total, 166 people died across the city, including in luxury hotels, the Taj Hotel, Trident Hotel and a Jewish cultural centre.

Maharashtra home minister RR Patil told the Associated Press Kasab was hanged in the Yerawada prison at 7.30am.

He said: "This is a tribute to all innocent people and police officers who lost their lives in this heinous attack on our nation."

Senior officials in Delhi said Kasab's family members had been informed about the execution "through a letter sent by courier".

Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had signed Kasab's execution order on 7 November.

"We kept secrecy. It was important to maintain secrecy in this matter," Shinde told the BBC, and said Pakistan had been informed of the execution.

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  • India's opposition Bharatiya Janata party activists light firecrackers to celebrate the news of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab's execution, in Jammu, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. India executed the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai early Wednesday, the country's home ministry said. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. (AP Photo/ Channi Anand)

  • Indian policemen stand outside the Yerwada Jail where Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, was hung at 7.30 am in secrecy in Pune, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo)

  • Indians celebrate upon hearing the news of India executing Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indians celebrate upon hearing the news of India executing Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indians celebrate upon hearing the news that Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, was executed, in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, or All Indian Student Council, burn an effigy of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, to celebrate the news that he was executed, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • Indians celebrate upon hearing the news that Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai, was executed, in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indian policemen stand outside the Yerwada Jail where Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, was hung at 7.30 am in secrecy in Pune, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo)

  • Indian policemen stand outside the Yerwada Jail where Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, was hung at 7.30 am in secrecy in Pune, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo)

  • Indians celebrate upon hearing the news of India executing Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indians celebrate upon hearing the news of India executing Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks, in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • A Kashmiri man watches on television news of India executing Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung in secrecy at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2008 file photo, injured commuters and dead bodies lie on the floor at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. India executed the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai early Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, India's home ministry said. Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after India's president rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Mumbai Mirror, Sebastian D'souza) INDIA OUT

  • FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2008 file photo, an Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during a gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India. India executed the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai early Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, India's home ministry said. Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after India's president rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

  • Mohammed Ajmal Kasab

    FILE - This undated file photo shows Pakistani man Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor among 10 gunmen of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, in Mumbai, India. India executed Ajmal Kasab from the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai early Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, India's home ministry said. Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after India's president rejected his plea for mercy (AP Photo/PTI, File) INDIA OUT

  • Mohammed Ajmal Kasab

    FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2008 file photo, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the accused gunmen walks at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. The Press Trust of India reported Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, that India's Home Ministry has recommended that the president reject a clemency plea filed by the lone surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. (AP Photo/Mumbai Mirror, Sebastian D'souza, File) FULL CREDIT MANDATORY

  • FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2008 file photo, injured commuters and dead bodies lie on the floor at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. India executed the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai early Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, India's home ministry said. Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani citizen, was one of 10 gunmen who rampaged through the streets of India's financial capital in November 2008, killing 166 people. Kasab was hung at a jail in Pune, a city near Mumbai, after India's president rejected his plea for mercy. (AP Photo/Mumbai Mirror, Sebastian D'souza) INDIA OUT