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.
The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in his dormitory hours after he wrote a Facebook post slamming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing a water-sharing deal with India.
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,
The FAHR on Wednesday announced the launch of smart screens, signboards and real-time reports on the developments of the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 at the federal government level.
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The cronyism, press muzzling, peril and horrors of the 20-year Martial Law in the Philippines from September 21, 1972, heavily shrouded the idealist rebirth of a nation and 36 years after the Romualdez-Marcos clan was ousted on February 25, 1986 through the historic peaceful People Power, that “bad taste in the mouth,” have yet to be expelled.