Egypt, US special forces hold drills on combating terrorism

CAIRO: Egypt’s military says its special forces have held drills with special forces from the United States to exchange expertise on combating terrorism.

The announcement was made in a Thursday statement by Egypt’s armed forces.

The anti-terrorism drills come ahead of the “Bright Star” exercise on Sept. 8-20, which will involve additional countries including Greece, Jordan, Britain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Italy and France.

The first “Bright Star” exercise took place in 1980, but the Obama administration postponed them in 2011 following the uprising that toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak, and scrapped them in 2013 after Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of protesters while breaking up a mass sit-in.

Last September, Egypt held the war games with US troops for the first time in eight years.

In a separate development, an Egyptian court has sentenced four people to 14 years in prison for the 2013 killings of four Shiite men outside Cairo by an angry mob.

A mob of several hundred residents attacked a group of people gathered at a house in the town of Abu Musallam in June 2013, after hearing a senior cleric, Hassan Shehata, was inside.

Villages threw Molotov cocktails and attacked Shehata and the other three victims, killing them with sticks and knives.

A previous group of 23 defendants were sentenced in 2015 to 14 years in prison for the killings.

Those sentenced on Wednesday had previously been tried in absentia and handed the same sentence, before being arrested.

 

 

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