A Bangladesh court on Wednesday sentenced seven members of a banned Islamist militant group to death for plotting an attack on a Dhaka cafe in 2016, BBC reported.
After the verdict, Public Persecutor Golam Sarwar Khan told reporters that the charges against the accused “were proved beyond any doubt”. “The court gave them the highest punishment,” he added.
Eight people were on trial in the case and one of them was acquitted.
The seven convicted men were involved in planning the attack and belong to an outlawed group called Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. The group sought to establish Sharia rule in the predominantly Muslim country.
The July 1 attack on the popular restaurant in capital Dhaka killed 22 people, mostly foreigners. Five attackers stormed the Holey Artisan cafe, took people hostage and killed them over 12 hours. Nine Italians, seven Japanese, an American and an Indian were among the dead.
Bangladesh launched a crackdown on militancy after the cafe attack as part of what Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calls a “zero tolerance” policy.
The Bangladesh government has also been on the lookout for Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is accused of inspiring one of the gunmen behind the attack. After the incident, the government also banned his international Islamic channel Peace TV. Naik has denied the allegations and accused the media of sensationalism.