Yemeni gunman sentenced to death in school rampage
March 31, 1997
Web posted at: 1:16 p.m. EST (1816 GMT)
SAN'A, Yemen (CNN) -- A day after a man raked two schools
with gunfire, a Yemeni court has convicted him and sentenced
him to death by firing squad.
A headmistress, a teacher, a cafeteria worker, a bystander
and a student were killed in Sunday's shooting spree,
according to Yemen's official SABA news agency. Twelve people
were wounded, five critically.
The defendant, Mohammad Ahmad Misleh, had been charged with
five murders, 12 counts of attempted murder, and resisting
arrest. He asked immediately to appeal the verdict, and
prosecutors said the appeal would be heard in public on
Witnesses said Misleh appeared to target the headmistress of
one of the schools when he arrived, armed with an assault
rifle, as students were lining up for morning classes. He
killed the headmistress outright, then another employee who
attempted to cover the woman's body.
Next, the witnesses said, Misleh shot another person who
tried to stop the gunman from getting into the school.
Inside, they said, he fired his weapon wildly, hitting
children and teachers indiscriminately.
After leaving the first school, he ran to another a few
hundred yards away, firing away at teachers and children who
ran screaming into the streets to escape the hail of bullets.
Security forces rushed to the middle class neighborhood just
south of the Yemeni capital, wounding and arresting the man
after a brief shootout.
In court Monday, Misleh said he carried out the attack to
avenge the alleged kidnapping and rape of one of his
daughters, which he said was approved by school officials. A
medical examiner's report, however, disputed his rape claim.
Witnesses said Misleh was a former bus driver who had been
fired by the headmistress.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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