Attack on Luxor tourist site referred to military court

Thursday 27-08-2015 03:01 PM
Attack on Luxor tourist site referred to military court

CAIRO, Aug 27 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's prosecution referred a case involving a bomb attack targeting a tourist site in Egypt's Upper Egyptian city of Luxor to military court on Thursday, it said in a statement.

A suicide bomber attacked a tourist bus near Luxor's Karnak temple in June. The incident left the bomber and a gunman involved in the attack dead. 

The prosecution said that the attack was masterminded by the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militant group. The group changed its name to Sinai Province last November after pledging allegiance to Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.

The militant group recruited new members to take part in the attack on Luxor's Karnak temple, according to the prosecution's statement.

Two foreign "extremists" took a taxi in Luxor on June 10, which drove them to a coffee shop in the vicinity of the temple, the prosecution said in its statement. They carried with them two black bags with "handmade bombs, explosive devices, rifles and ammunition" inside.

In the coffee shop, they met with an Egyptian "extremist", which "aroused the taxi driver's suspicion," the statement read. He reported them to the police.

The three "extremists" then headed to the temple at the arrival of a group of visiting tourists. When stopped by security forces, one foreign "extremists" blew himself up while the other one reportedly fired at the tourists.

Security forces responded to the shooting, the prosecution said, shooting dead the foreign assailant and injuring the third Egyptian "extremist".

The prosecution said details of the attack in its statement are based on the testimonies of eye-witnesses as well as the testimonies of the defendants involved in the case.

The case was referred to military court as per a presidential decree issued in October 2014 which refers crimes committed against the state's public and "vital" facilities to the military judiciary.

Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which was prompted by mass protests against his rule.

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