Five Bangladeshi militants sentenced to life in jail

By Anbarasan Ethirajan
BBC News, Dhaka

Image caption, Bangladesh has in recent years arrested numerous JMB suspects

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced five members of a banned Islamist militant group, Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, to life imprisonment.

They were convicted in connection with a series of bombings in the northern district of Bogra in 2005.

The bombings were part of a nationwide series of attacks.

Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country, has not significantly been affected by militant violence - one reason why the bombings shook the entire nation.

Although no one was killed in the Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Bogra bombings, several people were injured.

Traditionally secular

In his verdict, the judge said the five men, aged between 22 and 28, were part of a nationwide terror campaign which threatened the peace and security of the nation.

One of the accused still remains at large.

The JMB wanted to overthrow the democratically elected government and replace it with a Shariah-based Islamic state, in what is a traditionally secular country.

Six senior leaders of the group were later arrested and executed in 2007 for their role in separate bomb attacks.

In recent years, the security forces have arrested scores of suspected members of the JMB.

They are being tried in courts across the country for their alleged involvement in various violent incidents.

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