DUBAI (Reuters) – Kuwait has handed over to Egypt eight Egyptians who it said had admitted to carrying out terrorist operations in their home country, and had fled to Kuwait after being convicted in Egypt, the state news agency KUNA reported.
Kuwait’s interior ministry had said on Friday that the men had belonged to a militant cell linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and had fled to Kuwait after being sentenced at home to up to 15 years in jail.
Kuwait has not specified the circumstances of their sentencing, and there has been no official comment from Egyptian authorities.
“After conducting preliminary investigations, they admitted to carrying out terrorist operations … inside Egyptian territory,” said Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Anas Khalid al-Saleh, according to KUNA.
The men were returned under the terms of bilateral agreements, KUNA quoted a senior foreign ministry official as saying late on Sunday. The interior ministry said investigations were continuing to find other members of the cell.
Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after the late Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, was toppled by the military following widespread unrest.
Since then, Egyptian authorities have arrested tens of thousands of political opponents, many of them Islamists, according to human rights organisations.
The Brotherhood says it publicly renounced violence decades ago and pursues an Islamist political vision using exclusively peaceful means.
(Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy in Kuwait; Writing by Lisa Barrington and Yousef Saba; Editing by Kevin Liffey)