A British court has sentenced four men to life in prison for attempting to bomb London's public transport system in July 2005.

At Wednesday's sentencing the judge said each of the men must spend a minimum of 40 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

On Monday, a jury convicted the four men of African origin, Muktar Said Ibrahim, Ramzi Mohammed, Yassin Omar and Hussein Osman, of conspiracy to murder by placing explosives on three subway trains and a bus in London.

The failed plot came two weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 commuters in the British capital.

Also Wednesday, British prosecutors ordered two other men accused of being part of the conspiracy to face retrial. A jury at the first trial of Manfo Kwaku Asiedu and Adel Yahya failed to reach a verdict on Tuesday.

All of the accused had said the devices were harmless and intended to protest Britain's role in the war in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.