Bangladesh confirms death sentence for Islamist leader

Bangladesh's Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal seeking the scrapping of a death sentence for the former head of a banned militant group over a 2004 grenade attack on Britain's then-envoy to Dhaka.

Sunday's dismissal by a three-member panel of judges means there is no more barrier to executing Mufti Hannan and two of his accomplices for the attack on a 700-year-old shrine during a visit. Hannan was the top leader of Harkatul Jihad.

Then-British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury was unharmed in the attack, but three police officers were killed and 70 people were wounded.

The group, formed in 1992 by Bangladeshis returning from fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan, has been blamed for many other attacks in the Muslim-majority nation.