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Yemen state security court sentences 5 alleged al-Qaida militants to up to 10 years in prison


Yemeni soldiers check a motorbike driver at a checkpoint in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. Yemeni police have said that more than 40 security and army personnel were shot dead in drive-by attacks involving motorbikes throughout Yemen in 2012. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed) (The Associated Press)

Yemen's state security court has sentenced five alleged al-Qaida militants to up to 10 years in prison for carrying out attacks against security forces and supporting the group logistically in the southern province of Abyan in 2011.

The court on Sunday gave the defendants sentences ranging from four to 10 years. It was not immediately clear how many would serve the maximum sentence.

The court ordered the release of six others who had already spent about 18 months in detention. They were found guilty of supporting al-Qaida but not direct involvement in attacks. They will be under government monitoring after their release.

Journalists were in the courtroom.

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