March 29, 2010 / 5:05 AM / 9 years ago

17 sentenced to death in UAE for murder - report

DUBAI (Reuters) - A court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced 17 Indians to death over the killing of a Pakistani following a dispute involving illegal trade in alcohol, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The sharia court in Sharjah, one of the smaller of seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, sentenced the men to death following DNA tests indicating involvement in the fatal stabbing, Khaleej Times reported.

The sentence is thought to be the largest single number of people sentenced to death at one time in the UAE, a country dominated by the oil-exporting emirate of Abu Dhabi and its flashy but deeply indebted neighbour Dubai.

In the UAE, Sharjah is the only emirate where the consumption, possession or trade in alcohol is completely banned. In neighbouring tourist haven Dubai, known for its nightclubs and beach bars, it is loosely regulated.

According to the newspaper, three Pakistanis who survived the attack said that 50 people had assaulted them with knives. Those convicted men are 17-30 years of age, the newspaper said (www.khaleejtimes.com)

Reporting by Thomas Atkins

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