Five men sentenced to death in India for Hyderabad bombings

This file photograph taken on February 21, 2013, shows Indian police and investigators at the site of a bomb blast at Dilshuk Nagar in Hyderabad. An Indian court has sentenced two alleged leaders of a homegrown militant group and three others to deat
This file photograph taken on February 21, 2013, shows Indian police and investigators at the site of a bomb blast at Dilshuk Nagar in Hyderabad. An Indian court has sentenced two alleged leaders of a homegrown militant group and three others to death over twin bomb blasts in 2013 that killed 18 people. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Five men were sentenced to death by an Indian court on Monday for their role in two deadly bombings in 2013 in the city of Hyderabad, including the co-founder of an outlawed Islamist group accused of involvement in a series of attacks.

The convictions last week of Yasin Bhatkal, founder of Indian Mujahideen, and the others marked the first time members of the group had been found guilty, the National Investigation Agency, India's chief counterterrorism organisation, said after the sentences were handed down.

Two bombs ripped through a busy market in Hyderabad, a major information technology centre in southern India, in February 2013, killing at least 17 people.

The man police accuse of masterminding the blasts remains on the run.

The trial took place in a special court run by the NIA and the five convicted are expected to appeal against the judgment.

India sentences dozens of people to death each year but had been reluctant to carry out executions. An undeclared moratorium on capital punishment ended in 2012 when India executed a militant convicted for an attack in 2008 in Mumbai.