Egypt court upholds death sentence of 14 Islamists
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Militant Islamists react as they attend their verdict at a court in Ismailia city, about 120 km outside of Cairo September 24, 2012. REUTERS photoAn Egyptian court today upheld the death sentence of 14 Islamists convicted of the murder of seven people in the Sinai Peninsula last year.
The court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya had sentenced the Islamists on August 14 for carrying out attacks in June and July last year on behalf of the hardline group Al-Tawhid wal Jihad (Monotheism and Holy War).
They attacked members of the police and of the armed forces leaving seven dead, including one civilian.
The country's top cleric had approved the death sentences, as is customary.
Six men will be hanged. The eight others were being tried in absentia.
Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush increasingly brazen Islamist militants in the restive Sinai after an attack on an army outpost killed 16 soldiers on August 5.
The government had always struggled with militancy and smuggling in the region but lost its grip after an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak early last year, prompting the collapse of his discredited police force and allowing the militants to flourish.