An Egyptian military court sentenced eight members of Islamic State to death on Wednesday, November 7 for a deadly attack against the army in 2016, several regime sources told AFP.
The court in Ismailia in the country’s northeast also sentenced 32 people to life imprisonment – a term of 25 years under Egyptian law – while two others were given 15 years.
Two defendants were acquitted, a military source said.
The eight who were sentenced to death were not present in court, a judicial source told AFP without elaborating.
The accused were tried for “the killing of several soldiers and the attack on a checkpoint and an army vehicle” in 2016, the military source said, without giving further details.
All were identified as members of the Egyptian branch of Islamic State (Wilayat Sinai, or Sinai Province) which has led an insurgency in North Sinai and carried out several attacks across the country.
In February, Egypt’s army launched a major offensive dubbed “Sinai 2018” to dislodge the insurgents from the peninsula.
More than 450 suspected jihadists and around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed since the offensive began, the army said in October.
Since Egypt’s military toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2014, the government and security forces have cracked down hard on secular opposition and Islamist extremism.
Jihadist attacks have killed hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians.
Islamic State Sinai Province claimed responsibility for an attack last week against Egyptian Coptic Christians in Minya province, which killed six Copts and one Anglican.
Last month an Egyptian military court sentenced 17 people to death for a series of suicide bombings on Coptic Christian churches in 2016 and 2017.
With reporting from AFP