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UN Court Increases Sentence for Rwandan Priest Convicted of Genocide

A United Nations war crimes court has increased a Roman Catholic priest's sentence to life imprisonment for his role in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

An appeals court for the International Criminal Court for Rwanda ruled Wednesday that an original sentence for Father Athanase Seromba of 15 years in prison was too lenient.

The priest was convicted by the court in 2006 on charges of genocide and extermination.

Prosecutors say the priest helped to orchestrate the slaughter of 2,000 ethnic Tutsis who sought shelter at his parish church.

Witnesses say the priest ordered militias to demolish the crowded church with bulldozers, and to kill anyone who survived the church's collapse.

During Rwanda's 1994 genocide, Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and Hutu moderates during the span of 100 days.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.