December 26, 2017 / 9:59 AM / 6 months ago

Egypt hangs 15 militants for killing security forces in Sinai: security sources

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt hanged 15 men convicted of attacks that killed security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, security sources said on Tuesday, 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 on Tuesday, 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 militants 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.

Islamic State’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 Islamic State, 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.

Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan and Ali Abdelaty; Editing by Peter Graff

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