Egypt court recommends execution of 4 defendants over terror charges
CAIRO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian court referred the files of four defendants to the country's Grand Mufti, the top Islamic legal expert in religious rulings, for his non-binding opinion on their execution over terrorist charges, official MENA news agency reported on Tuesday.
Cairo Criminal Court set Feb. 19 to issue its verdict in the case that involves 30 defendants in total including the four.
The prosecution accuses the defendants of forming a terrorist cell that attempted to target judges and public figures, besides holding illegal gatherings and assaulting public properties.
Egypt has carried out several executions over terror charges during the past couple of weeks based on military trials, as 15 convicts were hanged on Dec. 26 and five others on Jan. 2 over killing soldiers.
Terrorism prevailed in Egypt since the military ousted former Islamist President Mohamed Morsiin early July 2013 in response to mass protests against his 12-month reign and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Terror attacks killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in restive North Sinai province northeastern Cairo before they gradually extended to other provinces and started to target dozens of the Coptic minority with church bombings.
Most of the attacks were claimed by the so-called Wilayat Sinai (Sinai State or Province), a Sinai-based group affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
Terrorists in Egypt did not stop at targeting security men and Copts, for they launched in late November 2017 an attack against a mosque in North Sinai's Arish city that killed at least 310 Muslim worshippers and wounded over 120 others, marking the deadliest terror attack and the first against a Muslim mosque in Egypt's modern history.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the mosque attack although fingers point at the Sinai-based IS affiliates.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian security forces have killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested a large number of suspects during the country's anti-terror war declared by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the defense minister then, following Morsi's ouster.[ Editor: meng ]