CAIRO: The Zagazig Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced nine militants to death over charges of killing seven soldiers in 2014, judicial sources told Youm7.
The defendants, including famous militant Adel Habbara, face charges of associating with the Islamic State (IS) militant group, possessing ammunition, explosives and targeting police and army personnel, said the source.
Four defendants, including Habara were present at the court while the other five were tried in absentia, the source said, adding that the ruling can be appealed at the Court of Cassation.
In December 2014, Habara along with six co-defendants has already been sentenced to death in the case known as “Rafah II Massacre,” in which 25 junior policemen were killed in northern Sinai in August 2013.
In May 2014, Habara was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the judiciary during a hearing in which he kept speaking up to disagree with the court.
Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since the military-backed ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) militant group has claimed responsibility for several attacks on security forces mainly in Sinai. The group pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) group before it changed its name to Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province) in 2014.