PAKISTAN. SHRINE BOMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
March 22, 2006: Abdul Halim and Muhammad Aslam, two men who carried out a bombing which killed 47 people at a Shia shrine in Pakistan in 2005, were sentenced to death. Three others were jailed for life in connection with the bombing at a shrine in Fatehpur, 200 miles (350km) south of Quetta in Balochistan. The authorities said the bombers belonged to a Sunni militant group.
Halim and Aslam were jailed for life for the Fatehpur attack but were given death sentences for a separate planned attack. Inspector General of Police, Chaudhry Yaqub, claimed four of the men were members of Sipah-e-Sahaba, which was banned in 2002. He said they had received training in Afghanistan and two of them had fought alongside the Taleban.
Judge Mohammed Ismail told the Associated Press: "They played a direct role in the bomb attack." Thousands of people had gathered in the village of Fatehpur, in Sibi district, when the bomb exploded. Many people were enjoying a traditional feast in the shrine at the time. A second bomb, also weighing 0.75kg, was found at the shrine and safely removed. (Sources: BBC NEWS, 22/03/2006)