Egypt approves new terrorism law after deadly attacks


Cairo: In the wake of a spate of terrorist attacks this week that killed dozens, including Egypt’s top prosecutor, the cabinet on Wednesday approved a new anti-terrorism law, state-run Al-Ahram Online reported.

The cabinet also backed a new law to regulate parliamentary elections giving judges a longer period to rule on appeals against elections results, Al-Ahram said.

The terrorism and election laws were due to enter into force once they were signed by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Earlier, the Islamic State militant group’s Egyptian affiliate Sinai province claimed simultaneous attacks on 15 security sites in lawless north Sinai, in which at least 70 Egyptian soldiers and civilians died.

Security experts believe Sinai province was behind the bombing of Egypt’s general prosecutor Hisham Barakat’s convoy in Cairo on Monday, killing him and injuring nine, including two drivers and five members of the security forces, Al-Ahram reported.

Twenty people have been arrested by security forces over accusations they are behind a Facebook page called “The Popular Resistance” which claimed responsibility for Barakat’s assassination.

It was the first successful attempt against a state official since violence erupted in Egypt following former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster by the army in July 2013 after mass street protests.