Bangladesh jails 14 extremists for deadly 2005 blasts
Dhaka, Bangladesh - A Bangladeshi court on Tuesday jailed 14 extremists for a deadly series of coordinated bomb attacks in 2005.
At least two people were killed and hundreds wounded in the blasts orchestrated by the Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an outlawed extremist group also blamed by authorities for last year’s deadly attack on a Dhaka café.
The court in the central district of Tangail sentenced all 14 accused to 20 years in jail, although only ten were present, court inspector Anwarul Islam told AFP. The other four are still on the run.
The JMB set off over 400 bombs across the country in 2005 to press for the introduction of Sharia law in the country.
It later bombed a series of cultural and political venues, including courts, killing around 30 people including several judges.
The Bangladesh government blames the JMB for a series of attacks in recent years on foreigners, liberal bloggers, rights activists and religious minorities.
In the deadliest of these attacks, five gunmen stormed an upscale Dhaka café in July 2016, killing 22 people including 18 foreigners.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility, but police and the government blamed JMB, discounting suggestions that IS had a foothold in Bangladesh.