Egypt refers Hezbollah case to emergency court

26 men are accused of espionage and terrorism


Egyptian prosecutors referred 26 men to an emergency state security court on terrorism and espionage-related charges, a prosecution statement said on Sunday.

The bulk of the men "conspired... to carry out terrorist activities within Egypt," led by Hezbollah operatives Mohamed Qublan and Sami Shihab to attack "vessels passing through the Suez Canal, foreign tourists and tourist establishments," the statement said.

Hezbollah Sami Shihab is a member of the group who had been providing military supplies to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip with the help of up to 10 others but denied targeting Egypt.

The prosecution said the men included Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Sudanese, and that four were not in custody.

In April Egypt detained 49 Egyptian, Palestinian and Lebanese men linked to Hezbollah it accused of planning attacks in Egypt.

Tensions between predominantly Sunni Egypt and Shiite opposition group Hezbollah have been running high since Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused Cairo of complicity with Israel in its siege of Gaza earlier this year.