Egypt military court condemns high-profile militant Ashmawy to death

Ashmawy was convicted for his role in 14 “crimes” including a deadly firefight with police in Egypt’s Western Desert in October 2017. (AFP)
Updated 27 November 2019

Egypt military court condemns high-profile militant Ashmawy to death

  • Ashmawy was returned to Cairo in May after his capture last year

CAIRO: An Egyptian military court on Wednesday condemned a high-profile militant, Hisham Ashmawy, to death by hanging over his alleged involvement in terror attacks, the army said.

Ashmawy was convicted for his role in 14 “crimes” including a deadly firefight with police in Egypt’s Western Desert in October 2017, an army spokesman said. The verdict is subject to appeal before a military court, a judicial source told AFP.

Ashmawy was initially sentenced to death in absentia in 2017 over an ambush in which gunmen killed 22 soldiers at a checkpoint near the porous border with Libya in 2014.

The court ruled on Wednesday that Ashmawy was also “involved in the tracking, planning and filming of the security detail for then-Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim on Sept. 5, 2013,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Ibrahim survived a suicide car bombing near his Cairo home but some 20 policemen and civilians were wounded.

Dubbed Egypt’s “most wanted man” by local media, Ashmawy was returned to Cairo in May after his capture last year by forces of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar in the city of Derna, eastern Libya.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi had asked for the militant to be handed over. “We want him to serve time in prison,” he said.

A former special forces officer, Ashmawy was dismissed in 2012 over his religious views. He joined Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis based in the restive Sinai of eastern Egypt but broke off after the group pledged allegiance to Daesh in November 2014.

Known by his nom de guerre “Abu Omar Al-MuHajjir,” Ashmawy announced the formation of Al-Mourabitoun in Libya, in July 2015.

 

Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai that escalated after the military’s 2013 ouster of President Muhammed Mursi following mass protests.

In February 2018, the army and police launched a nationwide operation against militants focused on North Sinai.


Egypt prepares for Nile floods, warns citizens

Updated 17 min 12 sec ago

Egypt prepares for Nile floods, warns citizens

  • The minister said that there should be a daily report on the land and buildings affected by high water levels

CAIRO: Egypt has warned people about Nile flooding, telling local authorities to take precautionary measures to minimize damage and loss of life. 

The Ministry of Irrigation informed various governorates that some of their land risked being submerged as a result of flooding and high water levels.

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty said on Tuesday that the warnings were being issued so that people could take preventive steps and become aware of the expected dangers, despite the fact they were living or farming illegally in the at-risk areas.

He directed the heads of central departments to coordinate with governors and local authorities and for them to inform ministry agencies about infringements and violations on all waterways, especially on the Nile River course, with removal decisions to be sent to military prosecution offices for legal action.

The minister said that there should be a daily report on the land and buildings affected by high water levels. 

The El-Beheira governorate sent information to local units on the Nile in the Rosetta Branch, stressing that measures should be taken in response to rising river levels in the coming days.

The leaflet included instructions to evacuate homes, buildings, livestock pens and fish cages. It also called on all residents of Kom Hamada, Itay El-Barud, Shubrakhit, Rahmaniyah, Mahmoudeya and Rasheed, to evacuate their homes and all buildings, livestock pens and fish cages.

“The lands threatened by drowning from the river overflowing are initially the property of the Ministry of Irrigation and have been subjected to building and agricultural encroachments by some people and despite, these violations, the Nile Protection sends warnings to the agricultural administrations and locals to alert farmers of an expected increase in the water level to avoid losses,” Amer Shukry, a ministry official in El-Beheira, said.

Agricultural land in the Kom Hamada district was submerged at the start of September as a result of high water levels. 

The head of the General Authority of the High Dam, Hussein Jalal, said that the ministry was ready to face the most violent flood in Egypt’s history.

He explained that it had been fully prepared to deal with the flooding since last May, and the priority was to ensure the safe level of collected water behind the High Dam and its discharge to waterways according to the attributed rate.

Jalal confirmed the technical conditions of the High Dam and Lake Aswan and the full readiness of all dams and overflows, explaining that the dam was able to deal with the current flood.