Cairo : Three judges were shot dead on Saturday in Egypt’s North Sinai, hours after a court sentenced former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi to death over jailbreak charges.
Gunmen attacked a car carrying the judges in El Arish city, also killing the driver and injuring another prosecutor, Xinhua news agency reported. Police rushed to the scene and started an investigation.No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, analysts say that it is more likely that the assault was carried out by the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
Earlier in the day, an Egyptian court sentenced Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to death for a jailbreak incident in 2011, and also sentenced leaders of the outlawed group to death over charges of espionage with foreign powers to destabilise Egypt. The capital punishment to Morsi made him the first president in Egypt’s history to face the possibility of death by hanging if the court ratifies its initial decision on June 2 or he loses his projected appeal.
Some of over 100 others given the death sentence included Islamists from Sinai, where militants have often launched attacks against policemen and soldiers.
The Sinai peninsula has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of Morsi in 2013. More than 500 security personnel have been killed since then. The military has also launched security campaigns in the area, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.