A Bangladeshi court on Monday sentenced five members of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB) to 10 years in jail for their involvement in a series of bomb attacks in 2005.
The group had launched a campaign in the Muslim-majority country to demand the introduction of Islamic Shariah laws and the violence left about 30 people, including judges, dead and many others wounded.
On August 17, 2005, the JMB exploded more than 300 homemade bombs across the country. At the time, a government led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia was in power in coalition with the right wing Jamaat-e-Islami party.
Monday’s verdict in the hill district of Rangamati came against the backdrop of the Bangladesh government’s efforts to suppress a resurgent JMB, blamed for recent attacks on foreigners and minority groups including Shias and Ahmadis.
Dozens of JMB activists have been arrested and their dens for bomb-making have been busted. Some five JMB suspects were killed in shootouts with the police.
Azizul Haque, the district and sessions judge of Rangamati district, found five men guilty and acquitted a sixth. They were accused of involvement in three blasts in Rangamati town in 2005.
The decision was announced in a packed courtroom, said inspector Mominul Islam.