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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 19:21 GMT
'Militant Islam' trial in Serbia
A group of alleged militant Islamists has gone on trial in Belgrade, Serbia, accused of terrorism offences.

The 15 men are charged with running terrorist training camps and plotting assassinations inside Serbia.

Most of them were arrested last year near Novi Pazar, the main town in the southern region of Sandzak, where there is a Muslim majority.

Prosecutors say the group was planning to attack a police station and murder a Muslim cleric.

Prosecutor Jovica Jovanovic said the defendants had close ties with fellow Islamists in neighbouring countries, as well as Saudi Arabia and Austria.

It is alleged that the men were planning to kill Muarem Zukorlic, a local Muslim cleric, who they believed was an American spy.

So far, the only defendant asked to plead has denied the charges.

Police said that in raids carried out last year they discovered a mountain cave, used as a terrorist training ground, that was packed with plastic explosives, masks and machine guns.

The defendants are believed to be followers of the radical Wahhabite sect of Islam.

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