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A Court in Egypt on Tuesday sentenced 21 persons to death over charges of joining and forming Islamic State (IS)-linked terrorist group, official news agency MENA reported.

 

The defendants were convicted for leading and joining a group which adopted ideas that called for the killing of the leader and to change the regime by force as well as assaulting the police and army institutions.

 

The convicted were also charged with possessing bombs and explosive deceives for using it in terrorist operations that will jeopardize the public security and order, national unity and social peace.

 

The judge said: “the defendants admitted joining IS’s calls to kill the leaders, security men and the Copt”.

 

The Copts are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, and an ethno-religious group that primarily inhabit the area of modern Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination.

 

The court referred the sentence to Grand Mufti, the country’s highest Islamic official who will give the religious judgment of all preliminary death sentences.

 

The Mufti’s opinion is non-binding as it is usually considered a formality, but his final opinion could reduce the penalty.

 

Egypt has been experiencing anti-security attacks since the army-led ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

North Sinai province is the main stronghold of the terrorist groups in Egypt, especially the IS-affiliate “Sinai State,” which claimed responsibility for killing hundreds of police and soldiers.

 

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