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Pakistani court charges 5 Americans with terrorism

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani court charged five young Americans yesterday with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan, their defense lawyer said.

The men, all Muslims from the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va., pleaded not guilty to a total of five charges, the most severe of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, defense lawyer Hasan Dastagir told The Associated Press. "My clients were in good shape and high spirits," Dastagir said.

The men, in their late teens or early 20s, were charged by an anti-terrorism court in a prison in Sargodha, the city in Punjab province where they were arrested in December. They were reported missing by their families in November after one left behind a farewell video saying Muslims must be defended.

Their lawyer has said they were heading to Afghanistan and had no plans to stage attacks inside Pakistan. - AP

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