EGYPT. 2 MEN HANGED FOR TAKING HOSTAGES
June 18, 2006: two brothers who led a gang that held more than 100 people hostage were hanged in Alexandria. Ezzat and Hamdan Hanafi were among 80 gang members who took over 280 acres of land in Nakilah, about 200 miles south of Cairo in February 2004. When besieged by some 6,000 police, the gang kidnapped 107 villagers and held them hostage for seven days. Police raided the village, freed the hostages and arrested the gang. The brothers were convicted of murder, illegal possession of weapons and drug trafficking. They were sentenced to death in September 2005.
Three other defendants were given life sentences. The others received sentences of between three and 15 years. The court acquitted 20 defendants, including two in absentia. (Sources: AP, 19/06/2006)