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Bangladesh court sentences seven militants to death for 2016 café attack

Twenty hostages were killed, including 17 from Japan, Italy and India.

Masuda Begum, mother of a worker of Holey Artisan bakery café who died in hospital days after the attack, holds a photo of her son on the third anniversary.
Masuda Begum, mother of a worker of Holey Artisan bakery café who died in hospital days after the attack, holds a photo of her son on the third anniversary.
Image: MD Mehedi Hasan/Zuma Press/PA Images

A SPECIAL ANTI-TERRORISM tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced seven members of a banned militant group to death for their involvement in an attack on a Dhaka café that killed more than 20 people.

The court said their aim was to destabilise the Muslim majority nation of 168 million people and turn it into a militant state.

“Seven of the accused have been convicted and sentenced to death. One accused has been acquitted,” Dhaka’s chief prosecutor Abdullah Abu told reporters.

The brazen assault in July 2016 saw young men armed with assault rifles and machetes lay siege to the caf in Dhaka’s well-heeled Gulshan neighbourhood. Twenty hostages were killed, including 17 from Japan, Italy and India.

Judge Mojibur Rahman found the men from the Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh group guilty of various charges including planning the attack, making bombs and murder.

He announced the decision in front of a packed courtroom amid heavy security.

The five militants were killed by commandoes during a 12-hour standoff.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina rejected it, saying the domestic group was behind it.

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Associated Press

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