11 Pakistani Islamists get death sentence for attack on top general
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, Feb 21, IRNA
A Pakistani court on Tuesday handed down death sentence to 11 members of an Islamic group after they were found guilty of attacking a top military general, court officials said.
Karachi corps commander Lieutenant General Ahsan Saleem Hayat survived a brazen attack on his convoy in June 2004 as he was driven to work in the port city of Karachi.
Six soldiers, three policemen and a passerby were killed in the attack in the city's posh Clifton area.
The attack by Jundullah (Army of Allah) groups was a clear bid to kill the commander.
Pakistani officials say that Jundullah group is a new terror group which has links with Al Qaeda, and their members have been trained in the tribal Waziristan.
The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) judge, Feroz Mehmood Bhati, announced the verdict in the presence of all the accused, who chanted slogans Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great) in the court room as the verdict was announced.
Tight security measures were taken outside the court room.
Five other accused in the case have been declared absconders.
The convicts have the right to file appeal in high court and their lawyers said they will challenge the punishment.
Jundullah was one of the new and, perhaps, the most fierce of the militant groups behind the spate of violence in Karachi in 2004.
The group hit the headlines after the daring attack on the motorcade of the Karachi's Corps Commander.
It was the most serious attack targeting the military since the two failed assassination attempts on President Musharraf in Rawalpindi in December 2003.
Jundullah has also been involved in attacks on paramilitary rangers, police stations, as well as the twin car bombings outside the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in July 2004.
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