March 25, 1997 in Nation/World

Muslim Militants Hanged For Murder

Compiled From Wire Services

Three Muslim militants convicted of killing a senior Sunni Muslim cleric were hanged at dawn Monday, and army troops went on alert to head off further fundamentalist violence.

The three men shouted the Islamic battle cry of “Allahu akbar,” or God is great, as they were led to the gallows in the courtyard of Roumieh prison, north of the capital. Their last wish was to be buried together.

So far, 10 people have been executed since the government reinstituted the death penalty after the 1975-90 civil war.

The three were sentenced to death for gunning down orthodox Sunni cleric Sheik Nizar Halabi on Aug. 31, 1995. Halabi reportedly was vying to become the spiritual leader of Lebanon’s Sunni community, and his murder apparently stemmed from a rivalry over the post.

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