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Weeping US Taliban jailed for 20 years

Alexandria (Virginia), Oct. 5 (Reuters): A US judge yesterday sentenced a tearful and apologetic John Walker Lindh, the American captured by US forces during the war in Afghanistan, to 20 years in prison for fighting in support of the Taliban.

Before the sentence was announced, Lindh apologised for his actions and told the court he regretted ever joining the Taliban and did not do so in order to fight America.

“You made a bad choice to join the Taliban and to engage in that effort over there,” US district judge T.S. Ellis told Lindh as he pronounced sentence. Lindh, 21, must serve a minimum of 17 years, if he is given time off for good behaviour.

Dressed in a green prison jumpsuit, Lindh tearfully read a statement for about 15 minutes, breaking down in sobs repeatedly as he apologised for his actions. Under a July plea deal, Lindh was spared a possible life prison sentence, and all terrorism charges against him were dropped.

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