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Serbia Jails Seven Muslims For Involvement In Syria War

A Serbian court has sentenced seven people to long prison terms after convicting them of sending money to the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Nusra Front extremist groups and of organizing fighters to join the fighting in Syria.

The Belgrade High Court on April 4 handed down prison sentences of between 7 ½ and 11 years to the seven Muslim defendants.

Three of them remain at large and were sentenced in absentia.

Another one has reportedly been killed in Syria, but that has not been confirmed.

The defendants, who denied wrongdoing, can lodge an appeal.

Several dozen Muslims from Serbia's southwestern region of Sandzak are said to have traveled to Syria to fight in the ranks of Syrian rebels or Islamic extremists.

The court’s verdicts were based on two offenses that were added to the Criminal Code in 2014, making it illegal for Serbian citizens to participate or assist in foreign conflicts.

Twenty-eight people have been convicted of taking part in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Kyiv's forces have been fighting Russia-backed separatists since April 2014.

With reporting by dpa and Reuters