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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Death for Bangladesh 'militants'
Security personnel inspect the wreckage at a bomb blast site last year
Bombers targeted courts last year
A Bangladeshi court has sentenced three alleged Islamic militants to death in connection with bombings last year.

Ataur Rahman Sunny, Masumur Rahman and Amzad Ali are alleged members of the banned Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which is blamed for the attacks.

Five others were given life terms for their alleged roles in the bombings.

The eight men were convicted of bomb attacks in Laxmipur east of the capital last August and October. They rejected the sentence and called for justice.

'Military chief'

About 500 bombs exploded almost simultaneously within an hour across Bangladesh on 17 August 2005.

The court in Laxmipur found the men guilty of detonating seven bombs in the district on that day.

It also convicted them of another bomb blast on 3 October within the Laxmipur court premises, which killed one person.

Ataur Rahman Sunny is accused by the authorities of being the JMB's military chief.

According to the prosecution, the five sentenced to life imprisonment - Arifur Rahman, Azharul Islam, Maulana Emranul Atahar, Maulana Ershadullah and Nazrul Islam - are also JMB members.

Reports say the men sang Islamic songs on their way out of court.

Ataur Rahman Sunny had already been sentenced to death, along with JMB chief Abdur Rahman and another JMB leader Siddiqul Islam - alias Bangla Bhai, for killing two judges last year.

Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam were arrested earlier this year.

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