An Egyptian court today upheld the death penalty by hanging for 14 Islamist jihadists convicted of killing seven people in attacks last year in the Sinai. A court in Ismailiya, northeast of Cairo, condemned 14 men, including eight in absentia on 14 August and sent its verdict to the Mufti of Egypt, who should authorize death sentences. The Mufti has given his consent and six men will be hanged. Four others were sentenced to life imprisonment for the same reasons.
The 14 men were accused of belonging to "Tawhid and Jihad" organization which attacked members of the police and armed forces, killing seven people - six members of the security forces and one civilian in two operations in the summer of 2011 against a police station and a bank in el-Arish.
Egypt has experienced a deterioration of the security situation after the overthrow in February 2011 of President Hosni Mubarak, particularly due to the defection of the police in many places. The problem is even more acute in the Sinai, where the Bedouin community is heavily armed.