The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has approved a tough anti-terror law which could issue journalists with exorbitant fines and suspend them from work if they produce “false” reporting on militant attacks.

The government had sped up the passage of the law after the state prosecutor was assassinated in a car bombing in late June, followed by a large-scale extremist attack in the Sinai Peninsula days later.

The military was infuriated after media, quoting security officials, reported that dozens of troops had been killed in the Sinai attack. The military’s official death toll was 21 soldiers and scores of jihadists.

The controversial law, published in the government’s official gazette, sets a minimum fine of 200,000 Egyptian pounds (about €22,000) and a maximum of 500,000 pounds for anyone who strays from government statements in publishing or spreading “false” reports on attacks or security operations against militants.

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