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13 face trial for Egypt sex attacks

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Supporters of Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi celebrate his inauguration in Tahrir Square (AP)

Supporters of Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi celebrate his inauguration in Tahrir Square (AP)

Supporters of Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi celebrate his inauguration in Tahrir Square (AP)

Thirteen men have been referred to trial for assaulting women during a public rally, in what is the first implementation of tough new penalties against rampant sexual violence, officials in Egypt's top prosecutor's office said.

The referral comes less than a week after a mob brutally attacked and sexually assaulted a group of women during celebrations following the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

The speedy trial reflects a government push to address the issue. Harassment has long been a problem, but assaults have become more frequent and gruesome over the past three years.

Mr El-Sissi visited one of the survivors in hospital, apologising and promising tough actions against the attackers.

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