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Russia Jails Members Of Banned Islamic Group

Five men have been sentenced to prison in Russia's Urals region for being members of the banned Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The Moscow Military Court, whose judges traveled to the city of Chelyabinsk to conduct the trial, on February 4 found all five guilty of "membership in an extremist and terrorist organization and preparations to overthrow the government."

The men, all local residents, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 1/2 and 17 years.

The Chelyabinsk region, in Russia's southern Urals, borders Kazakhstan and Russia's mainly Muslim region of Bashkortostan.

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

Russia's Supreme Court banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003, branding its supporters as "extremists."

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax