An Egyptian court has sentenced seven people to death for their links with the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya. An unspecified number of the condemned were accused of taking part in the beheading of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Ghanaian on a beach in Libya in 2015 – an incident that was filmed and shared widely.
In total 20 defendants are involved in the case, with charges also including weapons possession and inciting violence.
Of the seven defendants, three were sentenced to death in absentia, officials said.
The seven suspects were accused of membership of an IS cell in the Egyptian Mediterranean city of Mersa Matruh, and of planning attacks and receiving military training in Libya and Syria.
Final rulings in the case will be made on 25 November.
Egypt’s fight against militants linked to IS has centred on Sinai since the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Last week, 18 police officers were killed in one of the deadliest attacks of the year. Sinai Christians were targeted earlier this year in what appeared to be linked killings – Nabil Mansour became the eighth victim in May when he was shot dead by four masked men.
Source: Al Jazeera