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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Militants' death sentence upheld
Abdur Rahman in his house before surrendering earlier this year
Mr Rahman is blamed for a bombing campaign
The High Court in Bangladesh has upheld death sentences imposed against seven Islamic militants convicted for their role in killing two judges last year.

The militants include Abdur Rahman, the head of the banned Islamic group Jamaatul Mujahideen, and his deputy Siddiqul Islam, known as Bangla Bhai.

The pair and their associates were found guilty and sentenced to death by a lower court earlier this year.

The judges were killed as part of the group's campaign against the judiciary.

Bomb thrown

During earlier hearings, Rahman said that he should be rewarded for the murders, which he claimed were carried out by Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) on the instructions of God.

Security personnel inspect the wreckage at a bomb blast site last year
Bombers targeted courts last year

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.

The JMB has been demanding the introduction of Sharia law in the country.

Rahman and Siddiqul Islam were arrested in March for killing the two judges in November, when a bomb was thrown at their car while it was going to the court.

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

Rahman and Islam are accused in more than 20 cases, 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 JMB in connection with the campaign.

On 15 August, a Bangladeshi court sentenced three other Islamic militants to death in connection with bombings last year.

Ataur Rahman Sunny, Masumur Rahman and Amzad Ali are alleged members of the banned JMB.

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

The BBC's Waliur Rahman in Dhaka says that it is a legal requirement in Bangladesh that a trial court death sentence is reviewed and approved by a higher Court.

Our correspondent says that Rahman and Islam still have the right of appeal to the Supreme Court, but given their publicly expressed criticism of the Bangladeshi legal system it is unclear whether they will go ahead.

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