Three face trial for Taba blasts

Two Egyptians are set to stand trial for their roles in last year's resort bombings in Taba, while a third will be tried in absentia, Egypt's prosecutor has said.

    One of the bombs destroyed a wing of the Taba Hilton Hotel

    No date has yet been set for the trial, the first related to the explosions, prosecutor-general Mahir Abd al-Wahid said in Cairo on Wednesday.

     

    It will take place in Egypt's Supreme Emergency State Court, which does not allow

    for appeals, only clemency from the president.

     

    Two of the defendants, Muhammad Gabir Sabah and Muhammad Abd Allah Raba, did not belong to any terrorist group, Abd al-Wahid said.

     

    He said the resort bombings, in which 34 people were killed - among them Israelis - was "a reaction of some to Israeli practices against the Palestinian people in occupied territories".

     

    Bombs detonated

     

    Thirty-four were killed and more
    than 100 injured in the blasts

    On 7 October, the bombs were detonated in the Sinai resorts of Taba and Ras Shitan.

     

    One of the bombs destroyed a wing of the Taba Hilton Hotel. Ten

    Israelis were among the 34 people killed, and more than 100 people were injured. 

     

     

    The third suspect who will be tried in absentia was named as Muhammad Ahmad Salih Flayfil, the brother of Sulaiman Flayfil, who reportedly died in one of the explosions because his charges detonated before he'd left the hotel.

     

    The alleged Palestinian mastermind of the attacks, Ayad Said Salih, also died in the blasts.

     

    The Egyptian suspects came from al-Arish, 270km northeast of Cairo.

     

    Sinai gun battles

     

    Egyptian security forces have been battling insurgents in the Sinai hills for months, trying to rout those involved in the attacks.

     

    Relatives of those jailed without
    trial have staged regular rallies

    Last month, three suspects were killed in gun battles, and the government has said that five others implicated in the bombings are in custody.

     

    Earlier on Wednesday, another anti-government demonstration took place in al-Arish, where the residents repeatedly have called for the release of men detained without trial in connection with the attacks.

     

    Dozens of relatives and human-rights activists demanded the release of the detainees and the lifting of the emergency laws. They chanted: "No constitution without freedom."

     

    Egyptian rights groups and Human Rights Watch have accused the government of detaining as many as 2400 people for the Taba bombings.

     

    The government has not declared a figure for the detentions.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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