Militant group in Egypt’s Sinai warns military

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An al-Qaida-inspired group in Egypt’s volatile Sinai has warned the country’s military and police, urging troops to desert their ranks or face death at the hands of its fighters.

Ansar Jerusalem, or Ansar Beit al-Maqdis as the group is known, said in a statement on militant websites Monday that it considers Egyptian troops to be infidels because they answer to a secular government.

If the warning is ignored, Ansar Jerusalem says it “will be more determined to fight” the military and police.

Like other Sinai-based militant groups, Ansar Jerusalem has been blamed for rising attacks against Egypt’s forces since a July coup toppled the country’s former Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

The group has also said it was behind a September suicide bombing that targeted Egypt’s interior minister, who escaped unharmed.

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