Egypt court sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

A Cairo criminal court on Thursday (February 22nd) sentenced 21 people to death convicted of attacking security personnel and joining a terrorist group in 2014, Egypt's Ahram Online reported.

The case involved a total of 28 defendants, 16 of whom were tried in absentia.

Four of the defendants were given life sentences and three others received 15 years in prison.

Thursday's verdicts can still be appealed.

The court’s preliminary death sentence was issued in December 2017 and referred to the country’s grand mufti for his non-binding opinion, as per Egypt’s penal code.

The defendants were charged with joining a terrorist group with the aim of obstructing the state, targeting public and private facilities, orchestrating the assassination of army and police personnel and disrupting civil peace.

Prosecutors have said that some of the defendants received military training with the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) in Syria.

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