Saudi sentences 5 to death for 2003 Riyadh attack

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Associated Press

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 21 at 11:04 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi court has sentenced five people to death and 37 others to prison on charges related to attacks against expatriate residential compounds in the country's capital more than a decade ago.

In the May 2003 attacks, militants shot and bombed their way into the three compounds in Riyadh. The assault left 35 people dead, including eight Americans and nine attackers.

The Riyadh bombings prompted the kingdom to launch a sweeping crackdown on al-Qaida militants, who officials say were behind the synchronized attack.

State media reported Sunday that Riyadh's Specialized Criminal Court issued the five death sentences. The court sentenced the 37 others to prison terms ranging from three to 35 years on charges of abetting the attacks. The defendants have 30 days to appeal. Their nationalities were not disclosed.

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