Bangladesh court confirms death sentences for 3

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A Bangladesh appeals court has confirmed the death sentences handed to the head of a banned Islamist group and two of his associates for a 2004 grenade attack on a former British diplomat at a prominent Islamic shrine.

Prosecutor Sheikh Moniruzzaman Kabir said the court on Thursday rejected an appeal by Mufti Abdul Hannan, the head of Harkatul Jihad-al-Islami, and two colleagues.

The diplomat, Anwar Choudhury, was slightly injured in the attack on May 21, 2004, as he visited the Hazrat Shahjalal shrine in Sylhet city. The blast killed three people and injured 17 others.

The attack was aimed at avenging the killings of Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere by American and British soldiers.