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Egypt court sentences 8 to death for attempting to kill al-Sisi

Cairo, Feb 5 (IANS) An Egyptian military court has issued preliminary death sentences against eight people convicted of attempting to assassinate President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in 2014.

The court has referred the sentences to the country’s grand mufti for his non-binding opinion, as required by Egyptian law, official Ahram Online news website reported.

The court designated a session on March 6 to pronounce the preliminary verdicts for all 292 defendants in the case, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

The defendants were accused of assassinating three judges in North Sinai in May 2016, and attacking the residence of judges supervising Egypt’s parliamentary elections inside a North Sinai hotel, killing two judges, two policemen and a citizen.

They were also accused of staging a multi-pronged attack on the headquarters of the Army Battalion 101 in Arish city in North Sinai in January 2015, which killed 30 military personnel.

In November 2016, the state security prosecution referred 292 alleged members of Islamic State extremist group to a military court on charges of plotting to assassinate Sisi and launching terrorist attacks in the country.

According to investigations carried out by the state security prosecution, the first assassination attempt against the Egyptian president occurred in 2014 as he performed a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The attempt, which also targeted then Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, involved members from terrorist cells in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

–IANS

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