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4 bombers in Nigeria get life terms

LAGOS, Nigeria — A Nigerian court on Tuesday sentenced four alleged Islamic extremists to life in prison for two bombings that killed 19 people last year, the official news agency of Nigeria reported.

Prosecutors brought conspiracy and assault charges against the suspects, though Nigeria has strict new antiterrorism laws that make the death sentence mandatory for anyone found guilty in an attack that causes fatalities.

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The fate of four other men accused in the same trial was not immediately known.

The eight are believed to belong to the Boko Haram Islamic sect that is terrorizing northeast Nigeria with attacks on schools.

Britain on Monday banned Boko Haram, making membership in or support of the group a criminal offense.

The eight had been found guilty of masterminding and carrying out an April 8, 2012, bombing on an electoral commission office that killed 16 people, and a July 10, 2012, bombing of a church that killed three.

They had also been accused of fatally shooting three police officers on May 23, 2012, and bombing a political rally that killed three people March 3 that year, though it was not clear on Tuesday if they were convicted in these cases.

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