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Angolan Court Convicts Police for 2008 Killings

An Angolan judge has convicted seven policemen of homicide for killing a group of young men in a slum of the capital, Luanda two years ago.

Judge Salomao Filipe sentenced each of the officers to 24 years in prison in a ruling handed down Monday.

The case stems from a 2008 incident in which police ordered eight men in Luanda's Sambizanga neighborhood to lie down and then shot them at close range.

Five of the men died immediately. The other three died on the way to a hospital, but one of them managed to identify two of the policemen before passing away.

The police said they were conducting an operation against gangs in the crime-ridden neighborhood.

The decision is a rare example of Angolan security forces being held responsible for abuses.

Rights groups have complained about brutality by the country's police for years. Last week, in its annual human rights report, the U.S. State Department listed numerous cases of police killings and torture, mostly in Luanda.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.