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Egypt Trying 94 Muslim Militants


The Egyptian government is putting on trial 94 men accused of being Muslim militants who were part of a group plotting to carry out acts of terrorism in Egypt.

The men are accused of planning to assassinate public figures, blow up and sabotage government establishments, processing explosives and ammunition, and forming an unconstitutional group.

The government says they are Muslim militants who are members of a group called al-Wa'ad.

Eighty-seven of the defendants have been held in custody since May. The remaining seven are being tried in absentia.

A state prosecutor's report says they received training in Afghanistan and possessed documents and explosives manuals.

The case involves the largest number of alleged militants detained in Egypt since 1997 when the government cracked down on al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya. The group was responsible for killing 58 foreign tourists during an armed attack in the resort town of Luxor.

Relatives of the defendants gathered outside the military court where the trial is taking place. Many said the arrests were unjust and some accused the Egyptian government of only trying to prove to the United States that Egypt is serious about combating terrorism.