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Suspected Leader Of Banned Islamic Group Jailed In St. Petersburg

A court in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has sentenced an alleged local leader of the banned Hizb ut-Tahrir organization to 13 years and four months in prison.

Roman Ivanov's sentence was delivered on March 31, a day after another defendant in the case, Sergei Yablokov, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.

The men were found guilty of "organizing the activities of a terrorist group."

Yablokov and Romanov were arrested on suspicion of being leaders of a Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in St. Petersburg in June 2014.

Russia's Supreme Court banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003, designating it a "terrorist organization." The group is also banned across Central Asia.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, a London-based Sunni political organization, seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax