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Egypt sentences two to life for Red Sea hotel attack


bella-vista-hotel-attackEgypt Sunday sentenced to life two men linked to the Islamic State group for plotting an attack on a Red Sea resort hotel during which three tourists were hurt, a court official said

The men armed with knives stormed the restaurant of the Bella Vista hotel in Hurghada last January as tourists were having dinner, slightly wounding an elderly Austrian couple and a Swedish tourist.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, during which police shot dead one of the assailants, Mohamad Hassan Mohamed Mahfouz, and wounded the other, Mohamed Magdy Abul Kheir.

The prosecution said that the pair had plotted the attack along with fellow Egyptian Ahmad Abdel Salam Mansour, identified as an Islamic State group jihadist based in Syria where IS is active.

The court official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Abul Kheir was present in court for the verdict while Mansour was sentenced to life in absentia.

According to the prosecution, Mansour incited the other two to carry out attacks against tourists in Hurghada and to join the IS jihadist group.

The IS Egyptian affiliate is waging an insurgency in the north of the Sinai Peninsula that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

The jihadists have claimed attacks on other targets in Egypt, including a bomb attack on a Cairo church this month that killed 27 people.

IS said it is also behind the October 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from the Sharm el-Sheikh Red Sea resort, an attack that killed all 224 people on board and that crippled Egypt’s tourism industry and economy.

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