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Egypt hangs 15 for killing security forces in Sinai

December 26, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Egyptian security forces on 19 December 2017 [Anadolu Agency]

Egypt hanged 15 men for allegedly attacking and killing security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, security sources told Reuters today, in what appears to be the largest number of executions on a single day since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office in 2014.

The hangings took place at two prisons in the north of the country early today, the sources said.

A military court issued the sentences and interior ministry officials carried out the executions simultaneously at Borj Al-Arab and Wadi Al-Natroun prisons, the sources said.

Most of the men were from Sinai region and were accused of “joining militant groups and taking part in carrying out, planning and assisting in killing a number of army and police personnel in Sinai,” the sources said.

Read: Egypt security forces kill 9 suspects  in raid

There has been widespread condemnation of the executions as reports have surfaced that the men did not receive fair trials and little evidence was provided against them in court. Some have claimed the men were opposition members targeted because of their work in highlighting the atrocities committed by the government.

Daesh’s Sinai branch has waged attacks against security forces in a years-long insurgency in North Sinai, and in the past year expanded targets to include Christians and other civilians.

An attack on a mosque last month which killed more than 300 people, the deadliest in Egypt’s modern history, was widely attributed to Daesh, but the group did not claim responsibility for it.

In 2015, six people were executed for killing two soldiers during a raid in Qalyubiah province, north of Cairo.

Read: Egypt’s Coptic Christians face persecution at home and apathy abroad