#AceWorldNews CAIRO (AP) – Egypt’s crackdown on Islamists has jailed 16,000 people over the past eight months in the country’s biggest round-up in nearly two decades, according to previously unreleased figures from security officials.
Rights activists say reports of abuses in prisons are mounting, with prisoners describing systematic beatings and miserable conditions for dozens packed into tiny cells.
The Egyptian government has not released official numbers for those arrested in the sweeps since the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
But four senior officials – two from the Interior Ministry and two from the military – gave The Associated Press a count of 16,000, including about 3,000 top- or mid-level members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
#AceWorldNews Israel has continued to target suspected camps of Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza strip with air strikes after a barrage of rockets were fired from the Hamas controlled territory.
Friday was the third straight day of rocket attacks and air raids, in the worst violence on the Gaza strip since the conflict in November 2012.
` Islamic Jihad said that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire had been restored but that the truce was being continually tested by repeated violence’
#AceWorldNews Armed gunman in military uniform abducted 70 Egyptian citizens from their homes in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Atti said.
The official added that they were taken to a police facility in Tripoli.
The Libyan authorities have not yet given any comments on the incident.
Six Egyptians, including some diplomats, were taken hostage in Tripoli in January, but later released.
Following the civil war in 2011 and the deposition of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the country’s weak central government has struggled to control the militias and rebel groups which frequently attack civilians.
RT News – News Sources
#AceWorldNews Egypt has brokered a ceasefire aimed at ending a two-day flare-up between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, an Islamic Jihad leader said Thursday.
“Following intensive Egyptian contacts and efforts, the agreement for calm has been restored in accordance with understandings reached in 2012 in Cairo,” Reuters quoted Khaled al-Batsh.
In a statement on Facebook, he referred to a truce that ended an eight-day Gaza war two years ago.
There has been no confirmation from Israel, but a senior Defence Ministry official said earlier he expected the fighting to die down soon.
Related News – Gaza Strip -Palestine
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#AceWorldNews says that an Egyptian court on Tuesday banned all activities of Hamas in the country, Reuters reported.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by the authorities.
“The court has ordered the banning of Hamas work and activities in Egypt,” a judge said.
The move is seen as a further sign that Cairo’s military-backed government aims to squeeze the Palestinian Islamist group that rules neighbouring Gaza.
#AceWorldNews says an Egyptian court sentenced 26 people to death on Wednesday for plotting attacks on ships passing through the Suez Canal, Reuters said, citing judicial sources.
The defendants were tried in absentia.
#AceWorldNews says the trial of former Egyptian leader, Mohamed Morsi, and top officials from his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been postponed to February 27.
This time around, the charge is espionage.
Originally scheduled for February 16, the trial was hampered first by Morsi’s defence team resigning due to poor courtroom conditions.
It then ended up with him being behind soundproof glass, without the ability to communicate with his lawyers. The trial has already been dubbed the “biggest case of espionage in the history of Egypt,” and follows a tumultuous political transition, following two government changes in the space of mere months.
The group is being accused of conspiring with outside players to create chaos in the country and derail the peace process. Morsi and the MB party members all plead not guilty.
#AceBreakingNews says that Militant group warns tourists to leave Egypt before Feb 20
The Islamist militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has warned tourists to leave Egypt “before it’s too late.” It also threatened, on an affiliated Twitter account, to attack anyone who stays in the country after the February-20 deadline, Reuters said.
The Sinai-based group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday.
#AceWorldNews says today ousted Egyptian president `Mohamed Morsi’ appeared in court Sunday, facing charges of conspiring with foreign agencies to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt.
Prosecutors are calling it “the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt” and have presented a “terrorist plan” going back to 2005 that implicates Palestinian group Hamas, the government of Iran and the Lebanese political group Hezbollah, Reuters reported.
The court action is seen as a further crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that lifted Morsi to power in the 2012 presidential election.
The Brotherhood has been forced underground since the army took power in July following massive public protests against his rule.
The Egyptian government has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group and has killed about 1,000 of its members and jailed thousands of others.
A total of 35 people connected to Morsi also face trial.
The Brotherhood, meanwhile, accuses the Egyptian army of staging a coup and restoring a dictatorship, a charge the military brass denies.
Reuters, RT News,
#AceBreakingNews says the Egyptian ambassador to Libya, and up to 50 diplomats and staff, have been evacuated from Tripoli for security reasons, after five of their colleagues were kidnapped. Libyan authorities believe the abduction of diplomats is linked to the arrest of the prominent Libyan rebel commander, Shaaban Hadeia in Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria and are in close contact with Cairo, seeking the early release of the warlord who fought against the troops of Libya’s strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011.
#AceWorldNews says Chinese multi-millionaire Zhang Yue plans to construct the world’s tallest building in just six months, despite authorities preventing work amid safety concerns, AFP said. The 838-meter-tall Sky City tower is designed to be 10 meters higher than the current title-holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which took five years to construct. Zhang, 53, made a fortune selling air-conditioners. He earlier built himself an Egyptian pyramid and a replica of Versailles.