Nigerian Jihadists Sentenced to Life Behind Bars

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 04:14 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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Four alleged members of the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram have been sentenced to life in prison for their role in bombing attacks that killed 19 people last year.

The men were convicted of plotting and carrying out an April 9, 2012 attack on an electoral commission in the town of Suleja, killing 16 people, and an attack on a church three months later that killed three, the BBC reported.

A fifth man received a 10-year sentence in the case, while a sixth person was acquitted.

A state of emergency was declared May 14 in three states in northeastern Nigeria, and several thousand soldiers have been deployed in an effort to end Boko Haram operations.

The group, which seeks to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has repeatedly targeted schools, burning down dozens over the past three years. It is believed responsible for Sunday’s pre-dawn attack on a school in northeastern Nigeria in which a teacher and 29 students were killed after militants set fire to the school.

Some of the students are believed to have been burned alive, with others shot as they tried to flee, the BBC reported.

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