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Thursday 19 October 2017

Father and two sons kidnapped by Islamic State found decapitated

Egypt's minority Christians have been targeted by Islamic militants
Egypt's minority Christians have been targeted by Islamic militants

The decapitated bodies of a father and his two sons kidnapped by Islamic militants have been found in the street in northern Sinai.

The bodies, discovered in the town of Rafah, were taken to hospital where they were identified and prepared for burial.

Militants from Islamic State killed the mother of the two sons last week when they raided the family home in the village of Yamit, west of Rafah, and kidnapped the three men they suspected of being collaborators.

IS is spearheading an insurgency in northern Sinai, where there has recently been a surge in the abduction and brutal killing of suspected informants with the aim of deterring would-be collaborators.

Islamic militants have been fighting security forces in northern Sinai for years, but the insurgency has grown deadlier and expanded since the military's 2013 ousting of an Islamist president - Mohammed Morsi of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood - whose year in office proved divisive.

The militants recently targeted Egypt's minority Christians, forcing hundreds of them to flee their homes in northern Sinai after killing several of them there.

IS has targeted three churches since December - one in Cairo and two north of the Egyptian capital - with suicide bombings that killed at least 45.

An IS leader in Egypt vowed this week to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and western embassies as they are targets of their group's militants.

"Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels," the unidentified leader said in the group's al-Nabaa newsletter on Thursday.

He said churches, security posts and institutions, as well as places where "crusader nationals of western countries" gather were all legitimate targets.

Policemen hunting members of Brotherhood breakaway factions that have taken up arms against the government shot dead two operatives in a gun battle north of Cairo, said the interior ministry on Saturday.

It said the two were involved in a bomb attack that killed two policemen and injured others last month in the city of Tanta, north of Cairo.

Also on Saturday, a criminal court in Cairo accepted a prosecution appeal against a release order in favour of businessman Hassan Malik, a senior leader and financier of the Brotherhood who has been in detention for two years but not faced trial.

Malik was ordered to be remanded in police custody for 45 days.

Malik, arrested in 2015 on charges that he plotted to harm the national economy, was ordered on Saturday to remain in police custody for 45 days.

AP

Press Association

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