Death sentences upheld in Egypt

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Egypt’s top appeals court upheld death sentences for 13 members of a disbanded militant group convicted attacking security forces, a judicial source and lawyer said.

The 13 appealed to the Court of Cassation after a Cairo criminal court handed down the death penalty in 2017. The Court of Cassation is the highest civilian court in Egypt and its rulings cannot be challenged on appeal.

The 13 were members of Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, a group that emerged in January 2014 and targeted security forces in and around Cairo.

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

Egyptian security forces launched a large security operation in February 2018 to crush Islamist militants waging an insurgency that killed hundreds of soldiers, police and residents.

Security forces battle militants, including an Islamic State affiliate, in the mainly desert region of North Sinai, stretching from the Suez Canal eastwards to the Gaza Strip and Israel, since 2013.