EGYPT REACHES RECORD NUMBER OF EXECUTIONS
* Egypt hanged six Muslim militants yesterday for murder and conspiracy to overthrow the government, continuing a policy of ruthless suppression that has so far failed to stop a two-year campaign of violence.Skip to next paragraph
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The hangings brought the number of militants executed this year to 29, the highest number of people put to death for political crimes in Egypt in any year this century.
One of the main militant movements, Gamaa Islamiya (Islamic Group), shot and killed a police intelligence colonel in Cairo Saturday in revenge for the execution of three militants on Dec. 16.
The six men executed yesterday belonged to Jihad (Holy Struggle), a revival of the group that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. The men were among 40 found guilty on Oct. 30 of belonging to the Vanguards of Victory, part of Jihad.
The hangings completed the execution of all 29 men sentenced to death who had been in custody. A further 10 militants under death sentence are on the run, and one died in a bomb attack in August.
The Gamaa began its campaign of violence in early 1992, killing policemen, attacking foreigners, and weakening the country's $3-billion annual tourism industry.
Both the Gamaa and Jihad have sought the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak's secular government and the establishment of an Islamic government.