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Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death

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Posted at 1:01 AM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-13 01:01:54-05

A court martial in Nigeria has sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny, assault, cowardice and refusing to fight Islamic extremists.

The soldiers were accused of refusing to deploy to recapture three towns seized by Nigeria's home-grown Boko Haram in August.

The lawyer for the condemned men, Femi Falana, said 54 were convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad. He said five soldiers were acquitted.

They all were accused of "conspiring to commit mutiny against the authorities of 7 Division," which is on the front line of the counter-insurgency.

Twelve soldiers were sentenced to death for mutiny in September.Troops regularly complain that they are outgunned by Boko Haram, they are not paid in full and they are abandoned on the battlefield without enough ammunition or food.