Gunman Kill Policemen in Egypt, Court Puts Islamist in Jail

An Egyptian police officer and intelligence officer were killed by gunmen just outside of Cairo in a firefight late Saturday night said the country’s Interior Ministry.

The gunmen fled the shooting scene after killing Ashraf Badeer el-Qazaz from the intelligence services and a policeman, who was not identified.

The two officers had been on a security patrol late Saturday night on a road that links the capital of Cairo to Suez, the canal city, when they attempted to stop a vehicle. However, the vehicle opened fire on the two officers.

Islamist militants are stepping up their attacks on security forces and have killed hundreds since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi the democratically elected president on July 3 of last year.

The uptick in insurgency is posing a big threat to the country’s national security before the upcoming May presidential election. It also hurts the tourist industry in the country, which is a key source of income in Egypt.

Militants are showing now they have the ability to strike outside the Sinai Peninsula, the place where their initial attacks started after Morsi was ousted from power. Ajnad Misr claimed the responsibility for a bomb blast on Saturday in Cairo that killed a police officer Friday.

On Saturday, a court in Egypt sentenced 23 it said were Muslim Brotherhood members, which was banned last year. The 23 people were sentenced to prison terms of 3½ years.

The 23 had been jailed in connection to protests that took place last November against a Morsi trial. The defendants were found guilty of thuggery and attacking security forces amongst other charges.

The first sentence a leader from the Muslim Brotherhood was given since the group was outlawed came Saturday, when Mohamed El-Bethagy was put in jail for a year due to insulting the judiciary.

Morsi is currently on trial for a number of charges including conspiring with militant groups against the state of Egypt, which has a death sentence if found guilty.

The Muslim Brotherhood was the best organized political party in Egypt until it was outlawed in 2013 after it had been accused of becoming violent following Morsi’s ouster.


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