Egypt refers 555 IS Sinai suspects to trial

In the latest verdict, a military court sentenced 36 people to death in April on accusations they were involved in attacks against churches, requesting the opinion of Egypt's grand mufti, as required by law. AFP PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • Egypt has been hit by significant militant attacks in recent years, especially after Morsi was toppled.
  • On February 9, the military launched an operation against IS's affiliate in North Sinai. It has resulted in the deaths of more than 200 jihadists and at least 33 government troops.

Egypt's public prosecutor has referred to military trial 555 people accused of belonging to a branch of the Islamic State group in the Sinai Peninsula, a judicial official said Tuesday.

The 555 were alleged to have formed 43 cells as part of Wilayat Sinai, "whose elements carried out 63 terrorist operations", the official said, referring to the group that pledged allegiance to IS.
They were accused of murder and the attempted killing of officers and personnel of the armed forces and police in North Sinai province.

Out of the 555, 216 would appear in court, while 339 would be tried in absentia, according to the official.

Egypt's courts, both civilian and military, have witnessed a number of terrorism cases since the July 2013 military ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, following mass protests against his rule.

In the latest verdict, a military court sentenced 36 people to death in April on accusations they were involved in attacks against churches, requesting the opinion of Egypt's grand mufti, as required by law.

The opinion of Egypt's highest religious authority is solicited whenever a death sentence is passed, but it is not legally binding.
The attacks, claimed by IS, killed at least 80 people.

Egypt has been hit by significant militant attacks in recent years, especially after Morsi was toppled.

On February 9, the military launched an operation against IS's affiliate in North Sinai. It has resulted in the deaths of more than 200 jihadists and at least 33 government troops.

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