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Macedonia tries 6 in fishermen slayings

SKOPJE, Macedonia – Six Muslim men have gone on trial in Macedonia about the killings of five fishermen near the capital, Skopje. Prosecutors are presenting the case as a terrorism-related attack.

According to the indictment, the fishermen were killed so as to “cause fear among the population” and to harm the small Balkan country’s security.

Four defendants appeared in court Thursday and another two are being tried in absentia. If found guilty, the suspects would face at least 10 years in prison.

April’s fatal lake shooting of the fishermen, all of whom belonged to the country’s ethnic Macedonian majority, fueled tension with the mostly Muslim ethnic Albanian minority.

The court accepted the defendants’ demand that the prosecution present all the evidence against them. The trial will continue in January.