2 Christians acquitted in Algeria Ramadan case

Algiers, Algeria - Judicial officials say an Algerian court has acquitted two recent converts to Christianity on trial for offending Islam by eating lunch during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The officials said the court in Ain El Hammam in the eastern Kabylie region on Tuesday threw out the case against Hocine and Salem Fallek. A state prosecutor had sought a three-year prison sentence.

Police caught the couple - both construction workers - off-guard and arrested them while they were having lunch on Aug. 12.

During Ramadan, devout Muslims abstain from food and drink between dawn and sunset, and Algerian law considers it an "offense to the principles of Islam" to eat during the day.

Two similar court cases are pending.