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Yemeni court rejects gunman’s appeal of death sentence for hospital murders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A Yemeni court has rejected a suspected Islamic extremist’s appeal of the death sentence he received for the Dec. 31 murders of three Southern Baptist medical workers in Jibla, Yemen.

Abed Abdul Razak Kamel, 30, was convicted and sentenced to death in May for killing hospital director William Koehn, physician Martha Myers and purchasing agent Kathleen Gariety. A fourth worker, pharmacist Don Caswell, was wounded in the attack.

Kamel appealed both the conviction and sentence, claiming they were unconstitutional and violated Islamic law, according to the Associated Press. The July 21 hearing, in which both were upheld, was conducted in Jibla.

A final verdict on Kamel’s appeal is expected to be delivered Sept. 11. Marty Koehn, whose husband was killed in the attack, attended the hearing and urged the court to treat Kamel humanely.

Kamel said he killed the hospital workers in part because he believed they were proselytizing Muslims. Jibla residents have said the hospital workers never proselytized, which is prohibited by law in Yemen.

Kamel testified in April that he coordinated the attack with another suspected extremist, who is accused of killing a Yemeni politician two days before the murders at the hospital.

Yemeni security officials believe both men belonged to a cell linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror network. New reports indicated police believe that cell was plotting other attacks against foreigners and politicians.

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