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Death penalty recommended for disbanded militant group members

Death penalty recommended for Egyptian militantsThirteen members of disbanded militant group Ajnad Misr were sentenced to death by a Cairo criminal court after being convicted of launching attacks on security forces, judicial sources said.

Ajnad Misr or Soldiers of Egypt were a group that emerged in January 2014 and targeted security forces in and around the Egyptian capital.

The group’s leader was killed by security forces in 2015 and many of its remaining members are in custody.

The court referred its sentencing recommendation to the country’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding but legally required opinion.

Once that is received, the court will then formally announce its verdict, after which sentence can be carried out.

Egypt is fighting an Islamist insurgency in Sinai that gained momentum in mid-2013 when the military ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi after protests against his rule. Hundreds of soldiers and police have were killed.

The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement but Egyptian security forces do not differentiate between it and groups such as Ajnad Misr and Islamic State, which has led the insurgency in recent years.