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Last Updated: Monday, 29 May 2006, 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK
Death for Bangladeshi militants
Abdur Rahman in his house before surrendering
Abdur Rahman was arrested in March this year
A court in Bangladesh has sentenced two Islamic militant leaders and five others to death in connection with the murder of two judges last year.

Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam, also known as Bangla Bhai, belong to a banned Islamic militant group and were arrested in March.

The judges were killed in November after a bomb was thrown at their car while going to the court.

The attack was part of a series of bombings across the country.

The bombings were blamed on the outlawed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.

The verdict was announced in a packed court in the southern town of Jhalakati, where the judges were killed.

We are the holy warriors. We are not afraid of death
Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam

"I pronounce this highest penalty as involvement of the accused has been proved beyond doubt," Judge Reza Tarik Ahmed is quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

One defendant was acquitted.

"We are the holy warriors. We are not afraid of death," they shouted as they were led away, according to AFP.

As he was being led to a prison van, Rahman told reporters the fight for Islamic law in Bangladesh would continue.

During the hearings, he told the court he should be rewarded for the murders, which he claimed were carried out on the instructions of God.

He refused to be represented by a lawyer and said he rejected a court based on the English legal system as opposed to Islamic law.

Bombing campaign

The BBC's Roland Buerk in Dhaka says the hearing in Jhalakati is unlikely to be the last time the men appear in court.

Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam are accused in more than 20 other cases in connections with the bombing campaign which left nearly 30 people dead.

Last August, some 500 bombs were set off in all but one of Bangladesh's 64 districts in the space of an hour.

A number of subsequent bomb attacks targeted judges and court rooms.

More than 100 cases have been filed against alleged members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen in connection with the bombing campaign.

The militant group has been demanding the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the country.


SEE ALSO:
'Top Bangladeshi militant' held
06 Mar 06 |  South Asia
Bangladesh plans anti-terror law
21 Dec 05 |  South Asia
Bangladesh's escalating extremism
29 Nov 05 |  South Asia


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