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Czech jailed for blaming train attacks on Islamic militants

January 14, 2019 GMT

PRAGUE (AP) — A court has convicted a Czech national of carrying out two attacks on trains while blaming them on Islamic militants and sentenced him to four years in prison.

Prague’s regional court ruled Monday that 71-year-old Jaromir Balda cut down two trees in 2017 that fell on train tracks near the city of Mlada Boleslav, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Prague. Two passenger trains later hit the trees. Nobody was injured.

The retiree also placed pamphlets at the sites with threats of extremist attacks planned on Czech territory.

Prosecutors say the man’s motivation was to incite fear of Muslims and attacks.

The man pleaded guilty but claimed he didn’t want to harm anyone. The court also ordered him to undergo psychiatric treatment.