DHAKA: A Bangladeshi court on Thursday sentenced 10 militants of an Islamist group to death over a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed eight people, court officials and lawyers said.
The convicted men, all member of the banned Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), have 30 days to appeal to the high court against their sentence.
“The JMB carried out the attack to create a panic among the people to press the government to enforce Islamic sharia,” said lawyer Rafiqul Islam, who presented the state’s case.
The 2005 attack on the bar association office in Gazipur, north of the capital Dhaka, was staged by the JMB, to lobby for the introduction of sharia, or Muslim religious law.
Eight people were killed, four of them lawyers, and 80 were injured. One JMB member died while carrying out the attack.
The JMB was led by Siddique ul-Islam, popularly known as “Bangla Bhai” or “Bengali Brother”, who battled alongside Afghanistan’s mujahideen in the Soviet intervention in the 1980s.
After a campaign of bombings in northern Bangladesh in 2005, he was caught and sentenced to death.