BAKU -- Some 31 members of an alleged Islamic insurgent group have been sentenced in Azerbaijan to various prison terms for forming a radical religious group and plotting to overthrow the government, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.
The group was also found guilty of organizing attacks on currency exchange booths in Azerbaijan in 2007. The sentences given to the group members ranged from 3 to 15 years.
The group was also charged with helping Samir Mehdiyev (also known as Suleyman) -- who heads an insurgent group known as the Forest Brothers -- to escape from Azerbaijan after a deadly attack on the Abu Bekr Mosque in central Baku in August 2008.
Mehdiyev was later detained in Pakistan and extradited to Azerbaijan.
The group whose members were sentenced on June 18 had been led by Azer Misirkhanov, known as Abdulla, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. He had been sentenced in 2001 for illegally crossing the Azerbaijani border and participating in an illegal armed group.
The verdict announced said Misirkhanov also plotted several terror acts prior to the presidential election in 2008 and had planned an explosion on the Baki-Novorossiisk oil pipeline.