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An Iraqi court today sentenced three rebels to death for rape, kidnapping and murder, the first death sentences passed in connection with the ongoing insurgency.
The three men, aged 25, 30 and 44, were found guilty of involvement in 20 different operations during which they killed and captured policemen and raped Iraqi women.
Members of the public attending the trial in the town of Kut, 170km south-east of Baghdad, applauded the sentence and shouted "Long live justice".
The special criminal court said the sentences would be carried out "in the coming 10 days".
The death sentence, by hanging, was widely practised under Saddam Hussein, whose regime was ousted by US forces in April 2003.