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Egypt’s military court on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment 168 terrorists for involvement with the Wilayat Sinai terrorist group, which has carried out 63 terror attacks in the Sinai Peninsula and is affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist organization (IS, outlawed in Russia), Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported.

Other 36 Wilayat Sinai members were sentenced to 15 years in jail, the news outlet said, adding that all of those sentenced were accused of creating 43 cells loyal to the IS and committing crimes in the northern part of the peninsula.

The court also sentenced a total of 270 militants to prison terms ranging from three to 10 years and brought charges against 35 suspects.

Several group members were trained in militant camps in Syria, according to the results of the investigation.

In addition, terrorists were monitoring the building of Egypt’s Ministry of Interior and the country’s policy academy in New Cairo, as well as vessels passing through the Suez Canal and several Christian churches with an intent to conduct terrorist attacks there.

In November 2015, Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said that the Wilayat Sinai group operating in the Sinai Peninsula was responsible for organising a terrorist attack on board the Kogalymavia Airbus A321 flight that was heading from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.

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The plane crashed over the peninsula, killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members.

Russia’s Federal Security Service later confirmed that the incident was a terrorist attack.

Direct flights between the countries were suspended in the fall of 2015 and resumed only in April 2018 after security measures were radically increased at Egyptian airports at Russia’s request.

The north of the Sinai Peninsula remains one of the tensest regions in the North African county.

Thanks to counter-terrorism measures conducted by the authorities, hundreds of extremists have been killed or detained. (Sputnik/NAN)

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