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Russia Imprisons Three Tajiks From Banned Islamic Group

A court in Russia's Far East has convicted three Tajik nationals of membership in a "terrorist" group.

The Khabarovsk Regional Court sentenced two defendants to four years and three months in prison and one to four years and two months, local officials said on September 15.

The defendants, aged from 18 to 23, all pleaded guilty to joining the Islamic Party of Turkestan (IPT) in 2010-2013 and propagating extremist ideas among Muslims in Khabarovsk.

The IPT is believed to have links to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

The group has been banned in Russia and Central Asian countries and is on the U.S. State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations.

IPT fighters are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Based on reporting by and Interfax