Iraq parliament bomb planners sentenced to death

BAGHDAD Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:02am EDT

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Three men were sentenced to death in Iraq on Thursday for masterminding a suicide bomb attack on the parliament building last November, Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said.

The suicide bomber managed to drive into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on November 28 and blew himself up in the car park of parliament, killing one person and wounding six. The attack was claimed by al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq.

"The central criminal court in Karkh (in central Baghdad) sentenced three people to death by hanging today after they were convicted of bombing the parliament building last year," the Council said in a statement.

Militants frequently fire mortars and rockets at the Green Zone in central Baghdad, which also houses the U.S. and other embassies as well as some ministries, but only rarely manage to cross the perimeter.

While overall violence in Iraq has dropped from the height of sectarian fighting in 2006-07, this month has been particularly violent, with over 150 people killed in bombings targeting mainly Shi'ite Muslims.

Bombings in and around Baghdad on Thursday killed 13 people and wounded more than 50.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in February criticized Iraq for carrying out a large number of executions and questioned the fairness of its judicial proceedings.

(Reporting by Aseel Kami; Editing by Serena Chaudhry and Kevin Liffey)

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