Bangladesh’s highest court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence handed down to a top militant and two of his followers for a 2004 attack on the British ambassador that left three people dead. The Supreme Court rejected the appeals by Mufti Abdul Hannan, head of Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (HuJI) and two members of the banned militant group. The appeals are “dismissed”, Chief Justice S.K. Sinha told the court in a brief ruling. They could now be hanged within months unless they seek a review of the apex court’s verdict. The trio were convicted of murder and masterminding the grenade attack in May 2004 on then British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury, who was only slightly injured. The attack came just weeks after the Bangladeshi-born diplomat took up the post and occurred as he was visiting a historic Sufi shrine in the northeastern city of Sylhet. The blast left three worshippers dead and scores injured. The British High Commission had welcomed the conviction of those involved but opposed the use of the death penalty which is outlawed in Britain. Police said at the time of the attack that the group was plotting “to avenge the deaths of Muslims in Iraq and across the world by America and Britain”. HuJI was formed in the early 1990s by Bangladeshis who had fought in Afghanistan in the war against Soviet forces. The group has been accused of series of deadly blasts targeting a Christian church, a mosque of Ahmadi Muslims, rallies of secular activists and communists. Hannan was also sentenced to death for several of these bombing cases, which are being heard in the higher courts.