Cairo court sentences five to life in prison for failed bomb plot

Aug. 27, 2013 at 8:21 AM

CAIRO, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A Cairo criminal court handed life sentences to five men convicted of founding an illegal group and possession of explosives intended for the Interior Ministry.

Four of the five defendants were tried in absentia, the Middle East news agency MENA reported.

The only defendant in custody was Ashraf Farrag.

Prosecutors said the five were leaders of an illegal jihadi group, opposed to the Egyptian Constitution and laws, founded by Mohamed Abdel Sattar Abu al-Assar, a resident of the Gaza Strip.

The group sneaked in and out of Gaza via Egypt's eastern border, investigators said.

The operation to bomb the Interior Ministry reportedly failed when Farrag was arrested.

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