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Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 04:38 GMT 05:38 UK
Bangladesh executes six militants
Abdur Rahman in his house (file image)
Those executed included two top leaders of the banned JMB
Six Islamic militants convicted of killing two judges during a wave of bomb attacks have been hanged in Bangladesh, officials say.

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

Police said the men were executed at different jails across the country.

The November 2005 attack on the judges was part of a series of bombings for which the JMB was blamed.

During their trial, the men said they targeted the judiciary because it was run by secular rather than Sharia law.

The Supreme Court rejected their appeal late last year and President Iajuddin Ahmed turned them down for clemency earlier this month.

"They were hanged in four different jails and their dead bodies were handed over to their families," Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier Zakir Hassan told the French news agency AFP.

Wave of attacks

JMB has been blamed for a string of bombings across Bangladesh that left almost 30 people dead.

In August 2005, 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.

The government has been concerned about the possibility of retaliation to the hangings by still active JMB supporters, says the BBC's John Sudworth in Bangladesh.

This is thought to be why the executions were carried out without warning in various jails across the country.

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