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Yemen court sentences 3 militants to up to 6 years

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 22, 2012 at 9:32 a.m.

— Yemen’s state security court has sentenced three al-Qaida militants to up to six years in prison for planning attacks on security forces, foreign diplomatic missions and state institutions.

The court on Saturday gave the three militants between two and six years each. They have the right to appeal.

The judge also accused the three of running a training camp for al-Qaida in the southern Abyan province in 2011. He didn’t provide further details on the alleged targets.

The court released four others who had already spent about 18 months in detention. The militants earlier denied the charges.

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has ordered trials for dozens of al-Qaida suspects held without charges for over a year.

Washington considers al-Qaida’s Yemen branch as the militant group’s most dangerous.

In the southern city of Ibb, security officials and medics said eight prisoners died and dozens injured in a fire that broke out in the city’s central prison Saturday. The medics said the death toll could rise because more than 10 prisoners were in serious condition. The officials and medics spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire, the officials said.

The prison, which is one of the biggest in the country, witnessed riots last week by inmates protesting ill-treatment.

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