Liberian state radio: judge sentences says 13 men to life for raids targeting Ivory Coast

Liberian state radio is reporting that a judge has sentenced 13 men to life in prison for "mercenary activity" in neighboring Ivory Coast.

The men were convicted for their role in attacks targeting villages in Ivory Coast in 2011 and 2012.

Eastern Liberia became a haven for fighters loyal to former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo when he was removed from office in 2011 following postelection violence. In 2012 Human Rights Watch said dozens of Gbagbo loyalists were staging attacks from the border region.

An attack in Ivory Coast in June 2012 killed seven U.N. peacekeepers, sparking international pressure on Liberia to curb mercenary activity.

State radio announced Wednesday that men were sentenced the day before. Their lawyers plan to appeal the conviction and the sentence.