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Sun 30 Dec 2012 12:34 PM

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Asian gang convicted of killing Saudi diplomat

Five Bangladeshis sentenced to death for killing of Khalaf Ali in Dhaka in March

Asian gang convicted of killing Saudi diplomat
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A Bangladeshi court sentenced five members of a gang to death on Sunday for killing a Saudi Arabian diplomat in the capital Dhaka last March, court officials said.

Khalaf Ali, 45, a second secretary at his embassy, was shot at night near the embassy in Dhaka's diplomatic zone, raising an alarm over the first slaying of a diplomat in the country.

Judge Mohammad Motahar Hossain of the quick-trial court issued the verdict for the five men who police said shot Ali while trying to rob him. One of the accused remains on the run from police.

Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh have close ties, with a large number of Bangladeshis employed in the oil-rich kingdom. In recent years, the embassy has tightened visa rules to stop an influx of people with forged documents.

Relations between the two countries were strained in October 2011, when Saudi authorities executed eight Bangladeshi workers in public for their alleged involvement in an armed robbery in which an Egyptian security guard was killed.