World Bulletin / News Desk
“The defendants were accused of setting up a extremist cell, attempting to assassinate the commander-in-chief of the Bahraini Defense Forces [Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa] and committing other extremism-related offenses,” the BNA said.
The case involved a total of 18 defendants, including eight fugitives tried in absentia who the Bahraini authorities say are currently living in Iran and Iraq.
The court slapped another seven people with seven-year jail terms each -- and revoked their citizenship -- while five others were acquitted by the same court.
It was the first time for a Bahraini military court to convict and sentence civilian defendants since the country’s constitution was amended in April.
“The defendants have the right to challenge the court ruling at the Military Appeals High Court and the Military Court of Cassation, according to provisions of the law,” the news agency reported.
In 2011, the Bahraini authorities crushed a popular revolt that had erupted in the tiny Gulf state as part of that year’s "Arab Spring" uprisings.
Since then, the country has witnessed sporadic attacks on Bahraini security personnel.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that nearly 40 foreign fighters allied to Syria's regime were killed in the raid in eastern Syria.
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