Homeland Security

voanews.com

Pakistani Court Orders Death for 3 Militants
VOA News
30 Jun 2003, 09:48 UTC

A Pakistani court has sentenced three Islamic militants to death for organizing a suicide attack that killed 11 French engineers last year. An anti-terrorism court in Karachi handed down the sentences today (Monday) to Pakistanis Asif Zahir and Bashir Ahmed, along with Mohammad Sohail, who remains at large.

A fourth man, Adnan Qamar, charged in the attack was acquitted. Zahir and Ahmed are members of the outlawed militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen, previously known as Karkat-ul-Ansar. Defense lawyers say they will appeal the judge's verdict.

The defendants were found guilty of conspiracy, terrorism and the illegal use of explosives for the attack May 8, 2002. A suicide bomber drove an explosives-filled car into a bus outside a Karachi hotel carrying French engineers who were helping Pakistan build submarines. Along with the 11 Frenchmen killed, two Pakistani passers-by died, along with the bomber.

A similar attack took place in the port city a month later outside the U.S. consulate, killing 12 Pakistanis.

The deadly bombings were among a series of attacks against Westerners in Pakistan beginning in late 2001, after President Pervez Musharraf announced he would support Washington's global war on terrorism. The decision angered Islamic militants.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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