Tunisians sentenced to prison on terror charges

A criminal court convicted 18 Tunisians on terrorism-related charges in a case centering on an Algerian network with alleged ties to al-Qaida, a defense lawyer said Monday. Four suspects, who were tried in absentia, received the most severe sentences of 24 years in the trial that ended Saturday, said defense lawyer Samir Ben Amor. The other 14 were sentenced to four to 10 years. Seven of the suspects in custody were detained in neighboring Algeria, and many of them said during the trial that they were interested in traveling to Europe or to Iraq to join the anti-US insurgency.