Dhaka cafe terror attack: Court sentences 7 to death, 1 acquitted

DN Bureau

An anti-terrorism court in Dhaka on Wednesday sentenced seven people to death in connection with a 2016 deadly siege of a popular cafe in the Bangladeshi capital.

People who were put on trial accused of supplying weapons to the attackers
People who were put on trial accused of supplying weapons to the attackers

Dhaka: An anti-terrorism court in Dhaka on Wednesday sentenced seven people to death in connection with a 2016 deadly siege of a popular cafe in the Bangladeshi capital.

One person was acquitted by the court, which delivered its verdict amid tight security, Al Jazeera reported.

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Twenty-two people were killed after gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in downtown Dhaka's Gulshan area on July 1, 2016, in an attack that drew global condemnation. The victims also included 17 foreigners.

Golam Sharuar Khan Zakir, the public prosecutor, welcomed the verdict, saying, "We sought the death penalty for them as they were intricately involved with the terrorist attack even though they didn't physically take part in it."

Judge Md Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka ordered the deaths by hanging. The seven convicts who face the gallows include Hadisur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Aslam Hossain Rash, Md Abdus Sabur Khan, Shariful Islam Khaled, Mamunur Rashid Ripon and Jahangir Hossain.

In July last year, the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police submitted a charge sheet against eight suspects from the banned armed group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

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Hundreds of security forces, including the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion, were deployed on Wednesday in and around the court premises in Dhaka. Security analyst retired Major General Abdur Rashid called the verdict to be a "milestone".

"With this verdict, Bangladesh, as a country legally establishes its zero-tolerance stance against militancy and terrorism," he was quoted as saying.

Security forces stormed the cafe to break the 12-hour siege during which the Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS), which claimed responsibility for the attack by posting photos on social media of what it said were dead foreigners. (ANI)

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