SANAA - A Yemeni court sentenced three al-Qaida members to jail on Sunday for plotting to kill President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and target foreign diplomats, including the US ambassador to Sanaa.
Yemen is battling one of the most active franchises of al-Qaida, known as al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which has carried out a number of foiled attempts to attack US targets, including airliners.
The Sanaa court of first instance sentenced Abdullah al-Kheishani to seven years in prison, Maher al-Ramim to five years and Omar al-Najjar to one year, state news agency Saba said.
The public prosecution had accused Kheishani and Ramim of monitoring, planning and preparing for the assassination of Hadi outside his residence using booby-trapped vehicles, it said.
Hadi was elected in February 2011 after his predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh was eased from power as part of a US-backed power transfer deal which came after months of popular protests that brought the country to the brink of civil war.
Saba said Kheishani and Najjar were also found guilty of planning and preparing to target military officers and the US ambassador to Sanaa.