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Egypt militants behead man in restive Sinai

September 19, 2014

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — An al-Qaida-inspired militant group in Egypt beheaded a man in the restive Sinai Peninsula for allegedly conspiring with Israel, security officials said Friday.

Militants from the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group dumped the beheaded body on the road in the town of Sheikh Zuweyid, and continue to hold several other men for the same reason, according to the officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, whose name means Champions of Jerusalem in Arabic, posted an online video in August showing the beheading of four men in Sinai. The men in the video said they helped Israel target the group’s members with drone strikes in exchange for money.

The group claimed most of the major militant attacks that have hit Egypt since the 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Also on Friday, Amnesty International accused Egyptian authorities of denying crucial medical care to a detained hunger striker. The London-based rights group warned that Mohammed Sultan’s health was in a “critical state” and that he is at “imminent risk of organ failure” after more than 230 days on strike.

The group said that Sultan has been placed in solitary confinement as punishment for his hunger strike and is only transferred to the prison’s medical unit when he loses consciousness.

Sultan is among 86 jailed hunger strikers, including key icons of the country’s 2011 revolt that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. They are protesting what they say are dire prison conditions, prolonged pre-charge or pre-trial detention, unfair trials and a restrictive protest law that bans demonstrations without a permit and toughens penalties on violators.

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