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Two people sentenced to life over hotel attack in Egypt's Hurghada

Ahram Online and AFP , Sunday 25 Dec 2016
Hurghada
Egyptian security personnel guards the entrance to the Bella Vista Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt, January 9, 2016. (Reuters)
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A Cairo criminal court sentenced two people to life in prison on Sunday for attacking tourists at the Bella Vista Hotel in Hurghada in January.

The defendants are facing several charges, including joining an illegal group, possession of firearms and ammunition and attempted murder.

In January, three tourists were injured by two knifemen who stormed the Bella Vista Hotel.

One of the assailants was killed by security forces during the attack, while the others were injured and arrested.

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 member based in Syria where the group 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 militant group.

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

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

IS group 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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