Egypt jihadists condemned to death for killing police

CAIRO, Egypt – An Egyptian court sentenced 16 jihadists to death on Thursday, October 1, in a retrial on charges of killing 25 policemen in the Sinai Peninsula two years ago, a court official said.

Members of the group were first convicted at the end of last year and sentenced either to death or to lengthy prison terms, but the Court of Cassation annulled the convictions and ordered a retrial.

The latest verdict will be sent to Egypt's mufti, the country's highest Islamic religious authority, for a non-binding review.

The final verdicts will be announced on November 14, at which time the death sentences will be upheld or commuted to prison terms.

The case stems from an August 2013 rocket attack on two minibuses carrying police in the northern Sinai.

Islamist militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, ushering in a crackdown on his supporters.

Most of the attacks have been in the sparsely populated north of the Sinai, which borders the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Last year, militants in Sinai pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. –