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Kosovo Sentences 7 for Ties to Terror Groups in Syria

FILE - A Kosovo-Albanian man stands in front of a banner during a protest with the slogan "Stop Terrorism" in Pristina, Kosovo, April 24, 2012. A court in Pristina on Thursday sentenced seven men convicted of terror charges.

A Kosovo court has sentenced seven Albanian citizens on charges of terror, participating in terror groups and recruiting for Islamic terror groups in Syria.

A statement Thursday from the court in the capital, Pristina, said the seven defendants, identified only by their initials, received prison sentences ranging from 2 to 4 years.

Online news site reports that some of them acknowledged having fought with anti-government forces in Syria, while others said they had gone to assist Syrian refugees in Turkey. A few expressed regret for going to Syria, the news site says.

A few hundred Albanians from Kosovo are believed to have joined Islamic extremist groups and about 70 reportedly are still active with the groups in Syria and Iraq.