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Egypt sentences 11 IS-affiliated militants to 10 years in jail

An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced 11 militants affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS) group to 10 years in prison, official MENA news agency reported.

Zagazig Criminal Court in Sharqiya Province, northeast of the capital Cairo, convicted the 11 defendants of forming a terrorist cell in an attempt to join the IS abroad and carry out anti-state activities back home.

Formed in late 2015 and led by a merchant, the cell includes five high school students, a medicine college student, an arts college graduate, a shoe store owner, an electrician and a restaurant worker.

The verdict came a day after the Egyptian authorities executed 15 defendants convicted of involvement in deadly attacks against security forces in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

North Sinai is home to the IS-affiliated regional group that has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the country over the past few years.

Last week, a shelling attack on Arish airport in North Sinai killed an officer, wounded two others and caused damage to a helicopter during the visit of defence and interior ministers to the city.

On Nov. 24, also in Arish, a terrorist attack against a mosque in a small village killed at least 310 Muslim worshipers.

It also injured more than 120 others, marking the bloodiest terror operation and the first against a Muslim mosque in Egypt’s modern history.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the mosque attack, but the Sinai-based IS branch is the main suspect.

Following the mosque attack, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the army’s Chief of Staff to restore security and stability in Sinai within three months.

Terror activities in Egypt have so far killed hundreds of security personnel and civilians since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The coup was in response to mass protests against Morsi’s one-year rule and his now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian security forces have killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested a large number of suspects during the country’s anti-terror war declared by Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi’s ouster.

(Source: Xinhua/NAN)

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

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