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Bali Bombing Convict Freed on Indonesia's Independence Day

An Islamic militant jailed in connection with the 2002 Bali bombings was released from prison Thursday while 11 others linked to the blasts received sentence reductions.

The militants had their sentences cut by four months to mark Indonesia's independence day. The reduction allowed one of the men to walk free after completing his jail term.

Officials say the 12 militants carried out robberies, financed the attacks and sheltered key figures in the nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

Indonesia often reduces prison terms on holidays, but the move is likely to draw protests from Australia and other countries whose citizens died in the bombings.

Thirty-three people were convicted and jailed for the Bali attacks, blamed on the al-Qaida-linked group Jemaah Islamiyah. Three key figures are to be executed next month.

Other prisoners receiving sentence reductions today include Australian Schapelle Corby, convicted of smuggling marijuana to Bali island. Two months were taken off her 20-year sentence.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters