Police escort detainees accused of allegedly plotting the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe attack to a courtroom on Wednesday. Munir Uz Zaman/ AFP
A special anti-terrorism tribunal in Bangladesh sentenced seven members of a banned militant group to death on Wednesday for their involvement in an attack on a Dhaka cafe that killed more than 20 people, mostly foreigners.
Judge Mojibur Rahman found the men from the Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh group guilty of various charges including planning the attack, making bombs and murder. An eighth defendant was acquitted.
Rahman announced the decision in front of a packed courtroom amid heavy security.
Five militants took hostages and opened fire on the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, 2016. Twenty hostages were killed, including 17 from Japan, Italy and India.
The five militants were killed by commandoes during a 12-hour standoff. Two security officials were killed.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina rejected it, saying the domestic group was behind it that the international group has no presence in the country.
The attack in the Muslim-majority nation followed several years of smaller attacks targeting scores of individuals deemed by extremists to be enemies of Islam, including secularists, writers, religious minorities, foreigners and activists.
The full verdict was not immediately available on Wednesday, but the judge said the men acted against the sovereignty of the country and its constitution in executing the plan for such a big attack in which foreigners had been targeted and killed.
The defendants, who have maintained their innocence, can appeal the verdict.
Half-centuries from Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis lifted Sri Lanka to 294-8 in the third and final one-day international as they seek to whitewash Bangladesh in a three-match series in Colombo on Wednesday.
Colombo: An all-round team performance from Sri Lanka saw them secure a comprehensive 122-run win in the third ODI against Bangladesh, completing a 3-0 series whitewash. Batting first, Sri Lanka got close to 300 on the back of a combined batting performance, headlined by Angelo Mathew’s 87,
India opener Rohit Sharma hit his fourth century of the World Cup as Virat Kohli's side booked their place in the semi-finals with a 28-run win over Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
The national flag of Bangladesh is red and green, but the Tigers' jersey unveiled on Monday for the tournament starting later this month in England and Wales was green and white.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) spokesman Jalal Yunus said cricket's world governing body had originally asked it to drop the red colour due to "commercial complications," but relented following a subsequent request from the BCB.
The first phase testing would take around three months, CSIRO's director of health Rob Grenfell told Reuters, adding that any resulting vaccine would not be available to the public before late next year.
Confirmed coronavirus infections around the world approached one million on Thursday as the pandemic spread at a "near-exponential" rate, with a six-week-old baby becoming one of the youngest known victims.
The Chinese city, Shenzhen has banned consumption of dogs and cats as part of a clampdown on the wildlife trade since the emergence of the novel coronavirus.