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January 21, 2014

Indonesia Jails Mastermind of Burmese Embassy Plot

by VOA News

An Indonesian court has given a sentence of seven and a half years in jail to the man convicted of masterminding a plot to bomb Burma's embassy in Jakarta.

Sigit Indrajit, 23, confessed to planning the attack, which he says was to be revenge for Burma's harsh treatment of minority Rohingya Muslims.

Judge Haryono announced the sentence Tuesday at the South Jakarta District Court.

"The defendant Sigit Indrajit, also known as Abu Yahya and Dimas Nugroho, has been found legally and convincingly guilty of committing the crime of conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism."

Indrajit and six others were arrested in May, hours before the bombing was to take place. Police found five homemade bombs in a backpack two of the men were carrying on a motorcycle toward the embassy.

Indrajit, who is the third man to be sentenced in the case, told reporters after the verdict that he planned to keep fighting what he called the "enemies of Islam" when he is released from jail.

Buddhist-Muslim violence has flared in Burma, also known as Myanmar, since June 2012, killing at least 240 people.

Most of the killings have happened in the western Burmese state of Rakhine, home to Muslim minorities including the stateless Rohingya. The unrest and perceived Buddhist targeting of Rohingya has upset many in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

The Burmese government refuses to grant citizenship to the impoverished Rohingya, labeling them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.