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Man convicted of deadly homophobic attack on couple in Dresden

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
The 21-year-old man was convicted of murder, attempted murder and dangerous bodily harm.
The 21-year-old man was convicted of murder, attempted murder and dangerous bodily harm.   -   Copyright  ROBERT MICHAEL / POOL / AFP
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A Syrian national has been sentenced to life in prison for stabbing two gay men in Dresden last year.

Federal prosecutors had said the stabbings were motivated by anti-LGBT Islamic extremist beliefs.

The 21-year-old attacker, identified only as Abdullah A. H. H., had previously been convicted for trying to recruit support for the Islamic State organisation.

On October 4, he attacked the couple as they were visiting the centre of Dresden, killing one man and seriously injuring his partner.

Prosecutors say the man had used kitchen knives to attack the two men, aged 53 and 55, from behind because they were holding hands and he believed they were a gay couple, which he considered to be a "grave sin".

He was arrested by the authorities almost three weeks after the attack.

On Friday, the man was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and dangerous bodily harm by Dresden state court and given the maximum sentence.

Judges ruled that the suspect bears particularly severe guilt, which effectively means he won’t be released after 15 years, as is common in Germany.

The defendant, a native of Aleppo who came to Germany as a refugee in 2015, had been released from prison a month before the attack after serving a three-year juvenile sentence for promoting the extremist Islamic State group and attacking a prison guard.

Intelligence services in Saxon have been criticised for failing to monitor the 21-year-old after his release. The attacker's refugee status has also been revoked.