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Death sentences for Iraq bombers behind huge attack

Aftermath of bombing outside Iraqi foreign ministry (19 August 2009)
About 106 people died in a series of co-ordinated bombings on 19 August

A court in Baghdad has sentenced 11 Iraqis to death for their role in multiple truck bombings last August.

More than 100 people died in the attacks on government ministries.

Those convicted included an alleged member of al-Qaeda in Iraq and a man who said he had received funding from a senior Baathist now living in Syria.

The attacks, the worst in more than a year, were a serious setback for a government that had built its reputation on establishing security.

Those convicted and sentenced to death included Salim Abed Jassim, who confessed that he received funding for the attacks from Brigadier General Nabil Abdul Rahman, a senior army officer during the rule of Saddam Hussein and now living in Syria.

HISTORY OF BIG ATTACKS
Mar 2004: 171 killed in bombings in Baghdad and Karbala
Nov 2006: 202 killed in multiple blasts in Baghdad
Mar 2007: 152 killed in lorry bombing in Talafar
Apr 2007: 191 killed in car bombings in Baghdad
Aug 2007: More than 500 killed in attacks on villages near Sinjar
Aug 2009: 106 killed in lorry bombs in Baghdad
Oct 2009: 155 killed in twin lorry bomb attacks in Baghdad
Dec 2009: 127 killed in a series of car bombs in Baghdad

Source: News agencies, BBC

Also sentenced to death by hanging were Ishaq Mohammed Abbas, an Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader and his brother Mustapha, the court official told AFP.

The verdict and sentences were announced after just one half-hour session, and it is not clear if defence lawyers were present.

The 19 August bombings took place just minutes apart outside the ministries of finance and foreign affairs, killing 106 people and wounding around 600 others.

Further huge attacks in October and December against government buildings killed hundreds more Iraqis.

Violence in Iraq dropped significantly in 2009, but correspondents say that further bombings are expected ahead of the parliamentary election scheduled for 7 March.

On Tuesday, Iraqi security forces were deployed in huge numbers in Baghdad, bringing the capital to a near standstill.

Security officials say the lockdown was imposed after a tip-off that militants were planning attacks across the city.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
The Independent Iraq bombers to be hanged - 8 hrs ago
Christian Science Monitor Iraq sentences 11 for August bombing in Baghdad - 12 hrs ago
ABC Online 11 to be executed over Baghdad bombings - 26 hrs ago
AFP via Yahoo! Iraq sentences 11 men to death over Baghdad bombings - 26 hrs ago



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