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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Sentenced to Death in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan - The Supreme Court of Tajikistan on Tuesday sentenced three men to death for crimes including taking court guards hostage during their trial, a judge said.

Four other members of the same gang were sentenced Tuesday to terms in prison from 20 to 25 years, said Judge Usmon Dodarbekov.

The court chose capital punishment for gang leader Murodali Bozorov and two accomplices, Abror Sulaimonov and Kiemiddin Faizullayev, in part because they disarmed several guards during their trial last summer and held them captive in the Supreme Court buildings, Dodarbekov said. Police eventually subdued the men and nobody was harmed.

They were also convicted of murder and banditism.

Hostage taking and other criminal activity have blossomed in the chaos and economic decline following Tajikistan's 1992-97 civil war.