Egypt executes 6 militants to carry attack on soldiers

6 militants executed by Egypt for carrying attack on soldiers near Cairo last year

Photo by: Getty Images
Photo by: Getty Images

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Six members of the Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group, alleged to have links to ISIS, have been executed by Egypt for carrying out an attack on soldiers near Cairo last year, their lawyer said on Sunday, Reuters has reported.

Suicide bombers and gunmen from Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group, the Egyptian wing of ISIS, killed several dozens in attacks at two military bases located in Sinai in January since the army deposed the first democratically elected former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Two of a total of nine defendants were sentenced to life in prison. Another man was sentenced to death in absentia.

"The ruling was more of a political decision than a court decision," said defence lawyer Ahmed Hammam.

Egypt rejects allegations by critics that its judiciary is politicised.

In April, New York-based Human Rights Watch said three of the men who were facing execution could not have taken part in any attacks because authorities had arrested them three months earlier and were still holding them in detention at the time, citing comments from their relatives and lawyer.

After deposing Morsi - the country's first freely elected president - then army chief Abdel Fattah al Sisi launched the toughest crackdown on militants in Egypt's history.

Muslim Brotherhood has been identified as a threat to national security by Sisi. 

On Saturday, an Egyptian court sought the death penalty for Mursi and 106 supporters of the Brotherhood in connection with a mass jail break in 2011.

While Muslim Brotherhood has largely been neutralised with thousands of arrests, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis group remains strong despite continuing military operations.

TRTWorld and agencies