Emirati on trial for trying to run over American: newspapers

September 6, 2016 4:22 AM EDT

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DUBAI (Reuters) - An Emirati man suspected of ties to a Syria-based militant group has gone on trial in the United Arab Emirates on charges of trying to kill an American and planning attacks on media outlets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, newspapers reported.

The 29-year-old man appeared in court on Monday, accused of repeatedly running over the American while he was out jogging at al-Bahia, a rural area in Abu Dhabi, in May 2015, The National newspaper said. The expatriate was injured but survived, it added.

The defendant was also charged with traveling to Turkey to try to join the militant Nusra Front.

"He is also accused of plotting to commit acts of terrorism in the UAE, including bombing the headquarters of Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi and al-Arabiya in Dubai," The National said on Tuesday.

Militant violence is rare in the UAE, a Western-allied oil exporter that has been concerned about efforts by Sunni Muslim jihadists to stoke sectarian tensions in the Gulf with a string of attacks at Shi'ite Muslim mosques in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The National said the suspect has denied all charges.

The Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi adjourned the hearing until October 3 to allow lawyers to prepare their defense, the English-language paper added.

Gulf News, another UAE newspaper, carried a similar report.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by William Maclean and Andrew Heavens)

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