Yemen's court passes sentence on convicted al-Qaeda militants
Yemeni soldiers stand guard outside the state security court as suspected Yemeni al-Qaeda militants arrive in a truck for their trial. (AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED HUWAIS)
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Five alleged al-Qaeda militants were sentenced to up to ten years in prison on Sunday, after Yemen's state security court found the group guilty of carrying out attacks against security forces in the southern province of Abyan in 2011, according to a report by AP.
The court reportedly ruled that the defendants had supported al-Qaeda logistically during this time.
Militants of the Islamist group were particularly active in the South of the country until a month-long government offensive that ended in June, forced them into the more lawless eastern desert regions.
Sunday's ruling follows orders from Yemeni President, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, that dozens of al-Qaeda suspects who have been held without charges for over a year, be put on trial.
According to daily newspaper, Kuwait Times, judge Kilal Mahfal sentenced key defendant, Mohammed Muawada, to 10 years in jail. Three accomplices were given six year prison sentences and the fifth a four year sentence.
Six other defendants, who had already spent around 18 months in detention, were released on Sunday.
Kuwait Times reported that two defendants were cleared of charges while four others were cleared of direct involvement in the attacks but found guilty of supporting al-Qaeda.