Asia

Bangladesh executes Islamist for 2004 British envoy attack

A file photo from 2014 shows Bangladeshi Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami leader Mufti Abdul Hannan flanked by police officers after a court appearance in Dhaka Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mufti Abdul Hannan, centre, was sentenced to death in 2008

Bangladesh has hanged an Islamist militant more than a decade after he injured a top British envoy in a grenade attack.

Mufti Abdul Hannan, the leader of Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (HuJI), was hanged at the same time as two associates on Wednesday.

All had been found guilty of the 2004 attack at a 14th-Century Sufi shrine in Sylhet, in which three people died.

The British high commissioner, Anwar Choudhury, sustained leg injuries.

Mr Choudhury, who was born in Sylhet, was just 18 days into the job when he was caught up in the attempt on his life.

At the time, Mr Choudhury, who is now ambassador to Peru, told AFP news agency: "The bomb hit my stomach after it was hurled, but did not explode [then].

"It fell on the ground near the foot of the district chief and then exploded with a big bang."

Hannan had fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets before joining HuJI, which has been accused of being behind several attacks.

Prosecutors said he had headed the organisation since the late 1990s, but - speaking on Wednesday - his wife said he was innocent of all charges.

Last month, militants threw bombs at a prison van carrying him, reportedly in an attempt to free him.

A last minute bid to change the three militants' sentences, handed down in 2008, to life in prison failed.

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