Three people sentenced to death over Baghdad Catholic church attack
BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BNO NEWS) — Three people were sentenced to death on Tuesday after being charged and convicted for their roles in the deadly attack last year on a Catholic church in the Iraqi capital, prosecutors told the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA).
The attack happened on October 31 last year when a group of gunmen attacked the ‘Our Lady of Salvation Church’ (Sayidat Al Najat Church), which is located in the Karrada District of Baghdad, and took more than 100 people hostage.
During the incident, which lasted more than four hours, at least 58 civilians were killed and as many as 70 others were reportedly injured, some of them seriously.
“The Central Criminal Court on Tuesday issued verdicts of death penalties with hanging the three defendants for their involvement in the bombing of the Lady of Salavation in Baghdad,” Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, a spokesman for the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council, told reporters, according to the Xinhua news agency.
Few details about the trial were released, but Iraqi officials previously said that the captured men had previously confessed their responsibility for a number of high-profile attacks in the Iraqi capital, including the church attack.
In addition to the death sentences for the three men, a fourth person involved in the attack was sentenced to life in prison.
According to Amnesty International, at least one person was executed in Iraq in 2010. But as the Iraqi government releases no official numbers, the organization said it believes the actual number is ‘much’ higher.
More than 1,300 people are currently believed to be under sentence of death in Iraq, including at least 279 people who were sentenced to death last year. The Asian country carries out its executions by hanging.
(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: email@example.com.)