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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 12:34 GMT
Bangladesh 'militant' sentenced
Bangladeshi security officials inspect the site of an attack in Gazipur
Gazipur blast last December was Bangladesh's first suicide bombing
A Bangladesh court has sentenced a man to 15 years in jail for possessing arms and bomb-making materials.

The man, Obaidullah Suman, received the sentence on Sunday and is alleged to be a member of the banned Islamic group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.

The government says he is the first 'Islamic militant' to be sentenced.

The banned group has been blamed by the government of carrying out a series of bomb blasts in the country which have killed nearly 30 people since August.

Suman also faces charges in connection with a bomb attack last August.


Suman was arrested on 14 September in Kishoreganj district and was charged of possessing bomb-making material, 50 detonators, and four kilograms of gunpowder, an official said.

He was sentenced by a special court in the district, 150km (95 miles) north of the national capital Dhaka under an arms and explosives act late on Sunday.

Bangladeshi lawyers shout anti-terrorist slogans during a march in Dhaka following the bomb attacks
Lawyers and judges have been targeted in recent bomb blasts

Inspector general of police Abdul Qaiyum told the BBC that this was the first ever verdict in an explosives case against a member of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.

"The verdict will act as a warning against anyone who wants to be involved with the extremist group," another police officer told the Reuters news agency.

Suman faces another trial in connection with his alleged involvement in planting a bomb at a bus stop in the district on 17 August when nearly 400 bombs nationwide killed two people and injured a hundred others.

A home ministry spokesman, Shahinur Mia, told the AFP news agency that 200 other cases have been filed against operatives and senior leaders of the militant outfit for the recent wave of bomb attacks.

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