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Americans Appeal Pakistan Terror Convictions

Lawyers for five Americans found guilty of terror offenses last week in Pakistan and sentenced to 10 years in prison said Monday they have appealed their clients' convictions.

The defense lawyers, who filed the appeal on Monday, have said they are prepared to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Prosecutors had been asking for life in prison, and have said they will appeal for a longer sentence.

Pakistani officials announced the verdict last Thursday in the eastern city of Sargodha, where the five were detained in December.

The anti-terrorism court convicted the Americans, all Muslims in their early 20s, on criminal conspiracy to commit terrorism and raising funds for banned organizations. They were acquitted of three other charges, including waging war against Pakistan.

Pakistan accused the Americans of plotting attacks in the country, and of seeking to join Islamist militants fighting in neighboring Afghanistan.

The Americans, all from the Washington D.C. area, have said they are innocent, and that they were looking to do humanitarian work in Afghanistan. The men also say they were tortured by U.S. and Pakistani authorities while in detention, an allegation denied by officials in both countries.

Two of the Americans are of Pakistani descent and the rest are of Egyptian, Eritrean and Yemeni origin.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.