An Egyptian court sentenced 14 Islamists to death on Tuesday for the 2011 murder of seven people at a bank and a police post in the Sinai Peninsula, scene of mounting violence near the border with Israel.
The court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya convicted the 14 of carrying out the attacks in June and July last year on behalf of the hard-line group Tawhid wal Jihad (Monotheism and Holy War). One civilian was among the dead.
The verdict came amid a massive crackdown by the army on growing lawlessness in the Sinai since the overthrow of veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak in February last year.
In a spectacular attack on August 5 on both sides of the Egypt-Israel border, Islamist militants killed 16 Egyptian border police before being destroyed by Israeli tank and aircraft fire over the frontier.