A militant group that has claimed responsibility for attacks on security forces in the Sinai peninsula and elsewhere in Egypt has threatened the country's soldiers with death unless they desert the army, dpa reported.
The Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group said in a statement published on Islamist websites Monday accused members of the army of being infidels because they follow "a secular regime" and "support Christians and Jews in their fight against Islam under the notion of 'fighting terrorism'."
"We say to those who ignore this advice and insist on continuing (military) service that they can only blame themselves," the group said in the statement dated December 22.
The Sinai-based group has been blamed for an increase in attacks targeting security forces since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.
The government and military has since called their campaign against Islamists a "war on terror."
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for September's attempted assassination of Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, as well as several car bombings and attacks on security headquarters.