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GHQ attack case: Ex-Pak soldier sentenced to death

August 13, 2011 14:47 IST

A Pakistani military court has sentenced a former soldier to death and another to life imprisonment, while awarding prison terms to five civilians for their roles in the 2009 attack on the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

In its verdict announced on Thursday evening, the field general court martial sentenced former soldier Aqeel alias Doctor Usman to death. Another soldier, Imran Siddiq, was awarded life imprisonment.

The five civilians convicted in the case were identified as Khaliqur Rehman, Muhammad Usman, Wajid Ali, Muhammad Adnan and Tahir Shafiq. The first three were awarded life imprisonment while the other two were given jail terms of 10 and seven years, respectively, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The civilians were convicted for assisting the attackers, helping them find their targets and inciting soldiers to wage war against the army.

Eleven soldiers were killed in the October 2009 attack when 10 heavily armed militants wearing suicide vests stormed the General Headquarters and held off army commandos for hours before they were killed or captured. All seven convicts were subsequently shifted to the high security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

The lawyer of the seven men confirmed their conviction but said he could not comment on the verdict till he received a copy of the proceedings.

During the attack, the militants had forced their way into the main building of a military intelligence agency after killing soldiers guarding the entrance.

They took several personnel hostage before a final assault by commandos. Nine attackers were killed while one Aqeel alias Doctor Usman was arrested after he was injured.

Aqeel, the main accused, was given the nickname "doctor" as he had earlier served in the Army Medical Corps. Aqeel was allegedly involved in several other terrorism cases, including the suicide car bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in September 2008 that killed nearly 60 people.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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