Death sentence for militant who killed missionaries
A Yemeni man was sentenced to death on Saturday for the killing of three American Baptist missionaries.
The suspected al-Qaida militant, Abed Abdul Razak Kamel, pleaded not guilty to the killings and his lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict, saying it violated Islamic law.
The shootings took place at a hospital on 30th December.
The verdict was given in Jibla, 125 miles south of the Yemeni capital of San'a, which was the site of the Southern Baptist-run medical facility.
Kamel, 30, was also convicted of wounding a fourth missionary in the attack. He has 15 days to appeal the verdict.
During Mr. Kamel's trial, police officers testified that he had said he was a member of an Islamic militant cell and that the missionaries had deserved to die because they were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.
Kamel, who was arrested on the day of the shooting, had earlier confessed to co-ordinating the attack with Ali al-Jarallah, another suspected Muslim extremist accused of gunning down a Yemeni left-wing politician two days before the hospital attack.
He said during an earlier court hearing that he walked into the hospital with a semiautomatic rifle hidden under his clothes and opened fire on a staff meeting involving the Americans, firing two shots at each target.
The three people who were killed ó Dr. Kathleen A. Gariety, Dr. Martha C. Myers and William E. Koehn ó and the wounded man, Donald W. Caswell, had worked for years at the hospital, which closed after the attack.