DUSHANBE, December 24 (RAPSI) – The Supreme Court of Tajikistan Tuesday sentenced five students to two years each in prison for participating in armed conflict in Syria, the court’s press service reports.

“The investigation reports that students of the International Linguistic University in Syria participated in the conflict on the armed rebels’ side,” the court’s statement reads. There is no provision on mercenary activity in the Tajik Criminal Code, so the students were charged with participation in a criminal enterprise. The sentence was mitigated after the accused pleaded guilty to the charges.

The first reports of Tajik citizens fighting in Syria surfaced in May 2013. Three Tajikistan nationals were allegedly killed in the conflict. TajikInterior Minister Ramazon Rakhimov later confirmed the Tajik nationals’ possible involvement in the Syrian conflict

More than 100,000 people have been killed and 9 million people displaced since fighting broke out in Syria in 2011, according to the United Nations.