Saudi sentences 2 to death, jails 13 for `terrorism`

A Saudi court Tuesday sentenced two men to death and 13 others to lengthy jail terms for killing a policeman and three civilians and forming an al Qaeda cell in prison.

Riyadh: A Saudi court Tuesday sentenced two men to death and 13 others to lengthy jail terms for killing a policeman and three civilians and forming an al Qaeda cell in prison.

The verdict was delivered by a court in Riyadh "specialising in terrorism cases," state news agency SPA reported.

The authorities set up specialised courts in 2011 to try Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to al Qaeda or involvement in a spate of deadly attacks in the kingdom from 2003-2006.

The group, three of whom were foreigners, were accused of using a firearm to attack the policemen, killing one of them and three civilians and wounding 12 members of the security forces, SPA said.

They were also charged with setting up an al Qaeda cell in prison and planning attacks against foreign targets and kidnapping non-Muslims.

SPA said the cell planned to launch attacks on targets inside the kingdom "with civilian aircraft". They had also planned to attack a Saudi boat in an unnamed Gulf port, the agency reported.

In addition to the two men sentenced to death, another 13, three of whom are foreigners, were given jail terms ranging between 14 and 35 years.

Two Moroccans received sentences of 30 and 18 years respectively and a Yemeni was jailed for 20 years.

The group has 30 days to appeal.

The same courts are currently trying several Saudis for allegedly belonging to extremist groups and fighting abroad, particularly in Syria, and 13 people were jailed for up to 10 years in jail on Monday.

King Abdullah in February decreed jail terms of up to 20 years for citizens who travel abroad to fight, after the conflict in Syria attracted hundreds of Saudis.

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