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Assadullah Sarwari at his trial on 26 December (epa)
25 February 2006 -- An Afghan court today sentenced communist-era spy chief Assadullah Sarwari to death for ordering the killing of hundreds of people.
Sarwari headed the government's feared intelligence department in 1978 under President Nur Mohammad Taraki, Afghanistan's first communist ruler.
Chief Judge Abdul Basit Bakhtyare read out the sentence: "You, Asadullah Sarwari, have been found guilty of killing hundreds of innocent people during your service in the government, so this court sentences you to death according to Article 136 of our constitution."
Sarwari said he would appeal the verdict.
The death sentence was the first for war crimes in Afghanistan, where successive regimes have been accused of abuses in 25 years of conflict in the country.