Two Afghan bank attackers sentenced to death
Two men who were part of a group of Taliban assailants that killed at least 42 people in an attack on a bank in eastern Afghanistan in February have been sentenced to death, a court official said Tuesday, DPA reported.
Qari Matiullah, a Pakistani national, and Zar Azam, an Afghan, were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang, said Abdul Wakeel Omari, spokesman for the court. Their accomplice Daad Mohammed was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement.
At least 42 people were killed and 71 others injured when six would-be suicide bombers armed with rifles and explosive vests attacked a branch of Kabul Bank in Jalalabad city, capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Afghan security personnel were queuing up to receive their salaries when the attackers dressed in army uniforms entered and started a gun battle that lasted several hours.
At least 21 security personnel and four insurgents died. The rest of the victims were civilians.
Azam was the main organiser of the attack, the court official said.
"These men killed dozens of people and they confessed their crime," Omari said.
President Hamid Karzai would have to sign death warrants for the sentence to be carried out, he said, adding the decision has already been sent to the president's office for signature.
Surveillance video footage of the shooting showed a man dressed in police uniform shooting unarmed civilians at point-blank range.
Tolo television aired a report the following night which included the surveillance footage and an interview with the suspect, in which he said that the killing "gave me pleasure."