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Azerbaijani court convicts 29 on terror charges

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A court in Azerbaijan has convicted 29 people on charges of plotting a series of terror attacks in the Caspian Sea country.

The court in the capital Baku sentenced them Monday to prison terms ranging from nine years to life. They were arrested in a series of police sweeps in April and May 2012. They were accused of plotting to kill Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and conduct bombings at the site of the Eurovision contest in May 2012 and several top hotels in the capital.

The prosecutors said the attackers, some of whom came from the province of Dagestan in neighboring Russia, declared jihad, or holy war, against the secular government of Azerbaijan. Dagestan has become the center of an Islamic insurgency in Russia's North Caucasus.

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