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Egypt IS cell 'planned to assassinate Sisi in Mecca' Open in fullscreen

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Egypt IS cell 'planned to assassinate Sisi in Mecca'

The IS cell attempted to assassinate Egypt's President Sisi [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 July, 2018

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Egypt’s military court heard the trial of 292 detainees accused of forming 22 armed cells belonging to the Islamic State group’s Sinai branch on Wednesday.
Egyptian Islamic State group militants hatched multiple plans to assassinate President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an Egyptian military court heard on Wednesday.

The trial which was held in secret, involved 292 detainees accused of forming 22 armed cells belonging to the Islamic State group’s Sinai branch.

Prosecutors claimed the detainees, including six police officers, established an armed group operating under the banner of IS in the Sinai region, which planned to assassinate Sisi on two occasions.

One of the plans involved a scheme to kill Sisi during his umrah pilgrimage alongside Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in Saudi Arabia's holy Mecca city, while the second included a cell of six on-duty police officers who would target the Egyptian leader while passing through a Cairo street.

The cell allegedly pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before becoming an affiliate of the militant group.

More than 200 suspected jihadists and at least 35 soldiers have been killed since Egypt launched operation "Sinai 2018" to rid the peninsula of Islamic militants in February, according to the military.

Jihadists launched an insurgency in Sinai after the military overthrew Egypt's elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests against his rule.

While the army maintains local people in the Sinai support its operation and receive humanitarian aid, Human Rights Watch says Egypt has stepped up its demolitions of homes, businesses and farms in the Sinai since launching the campaign against Islamists on February 9.

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