Guinea court sentences 13 to prison over inter-ethnic killings

CONAKRY, May 6 (Reuters) - A court in southeastern Guinea has found 13 men guilty of murder, rape and other crimes for their part in the killing of dozens of people by machete and other crude weapons in the town of Nzerekore in 2013.

It is the first time in recent years that a tribunal in Guinea has handed down verdicts for crimes resulting from inter-ethnic fighting.

"Of 18 defendants, 11 were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to five years. One person was sentenced to 20 years in prison and another to life imprisonment," a judicial source told Reuters of the proceeding on Tuesday.

The clashes involved members of the indigenous Guerze group and ethnic Koniankes people who moved into the area. They began in Koule town in July 2013, spread to Nzerekore about 950 km from the capital Conakry and then continued in Beyla town.

The clashes ended after the army imposed a curfew. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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