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Mali sentences two to death over terrorist attacks

A Malian court has handed a death sentence to a suspected jihadist and his co-defendant, after he pleaded guilty to killing five people in a 2015 gun attack.

A lawyer for Fawaz Ould Ahmed told Reuters on Wednesday that the court also sentenced him for planning two other attacks targeting Westerners that killed thirty-seven people.

In his court appearance in the capital, Bamako, same day, Mr. Ould Ahmed described in detail how he carried out the attack on La Terrace restaurant in March 2015.

He said he was also involved in planning a raid that killed seventeen at Hotel Byblos in the town of Sevare in August and another that killed twenty people at Bamako’s Radisson Blu hotel.

The attacks marked a brazen new phase in jihadist operations across West Africa, in which top hotels and tourist destinations frequented by Westerners, aid workers and diplomats were no longer considered safe.

“I regret nothing,” Mr. Ould Ahmed told the court, adding that he had been seeking revenge for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad printed in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The court later found him and his co-defendant guilty and sentenced both to death.

In January 2015, two months before Ould Ahmed’s first attack, militants in Paris had stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo and shot dead twelve people because of the cartoons.

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