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Top Bangladesh Islamists face death penalty over festival attack

Published on Jun 16, 2014 2:21 PM

DHAKA (AFP) - A Bangladesh court was expected on Monday to deliver its verdict against 14 Islamic militants who face the death penalty for bomb blasts targeting Bengali New Year celebrations that killed 10 people.

Prosecutors accuse the Islamists, including head of the outlawed Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (HuJI) outfit, of targeting the popular secular celebrations in Dhaka's main park in 2001, which they deemed offensive to Islam.

The bombings were allegedly among a series carried out by HuJI head Mufti Abdul Hannan and his group, who also attempted to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when she was opposition leader in 2004.

A court in Dhaka was set to hand down its verdict and sentence later on Monday, following a trial that started in 2009.

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