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Azerbaijan Jails Suspected Al-Qaeda Militants

(RFE/RL) April 19, 2006 – Azerbaijan's Court for Serious Crimes today convicted 16 suspected Al-Qaeda militants of premeditated murder and illegal possession of weapons.

One defendant, Arif Haciyev, was sentenced to life in prison. The remainder received jail terms of between five and 10 years. Media reports say the men include citizens of Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, and Yemen.

Prosecutors say the 16 suspected militants received military training in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge as a prelude to their planned deployment against Russian troops in Chechnya. They also say the group is guilty of killing an Azerbaijani police officer last July.

(APA, Turan, Lider TV)

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