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Page last updated at 00:19 GMT, Saturday, 4 July 2009 01:19 UK

Serbia jails Muslim 'terrorists'

A Muslim defendant on trial in Belgrade (image: Serbian TV)
Serbian TV showed footage of the trial in Belgrade

Twelve alleged Muslim radicals who were mostly arrested in Serbia's southern region of Sandzak have been jailed for plotting attacks on an imam and others.

Their alleged leader, Senad Ramovic, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for terrorist offenses and illegal possession of arms and explosives.

Eleven defendants got terms ranging from eight years to six months, two were acquitted and one faces retrial.

All pleaded not guilty when their trial opened in Belgrade in January 2008.

Most of the 15 defendants were arrested near Novi Pazar, Sandzak's main town, in 2007.

Weapons put on display by Serbian police
Police displayed weapons said to have been stored by the group

Prosecutors said they had been planning to attack a police station and murder a Muslim cleric, and that they had close ties to fellow Islamists in neighbouring countries, as well as Saudi Arabia.

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

During the trial, Ramovic told the panel of three judges: "We did not want to attack anyone. We are just Muslims devoted to Allah."

Sandzak is a mainly Muslim region straddling Serbia and Montenegro.



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