Iraq confirms death sentences for church attack


An Iraqi appeals court confirmed the death sentences for three men convicted in connection with a massacre at a Baghdad church last year, the spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council said Thursday.

On October 31 militants stormed Our Lady of Salvation church in central Baghdad, killing 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force personnel in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq.

“The federal appeals court has confirmed the death penalty against three people convicted for the church attack. The sentence is final and was sent to the presidential council for the execution of the verdict,” Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said.

The three were sentenced to death on August 2, 2011, while an accomplice was given 20 years in prison.

Under the Iraqi constitution, the presidential council, composed of the president and two vice-presidents, must ratify death sentences before they are carried out.