Cairo: An Egyptian court Wednesday upheld death sentences against 12 alleged supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi over killing a police major general in 2013, media reported.

Seven of the defendants were present in court while the remaining were sentenced in absentia, Xinhua reported citing state-run Nile TV.

The defendants still have the right to appeal.

Nine other defendants received life sentence, and one was acquitted, the report said.

The case dated back to Sep 19 when a group of people attacked Nabil Farag, the assistant to chief of Giza security headquarters in Kerdasa district, leaving nine other policemen injured.

The defendants were also charged with forming a terrorist group, assaulting police premises and targeting churches and public buildings, in addition to disturbing public order.

Since the ouster of Morsi last July, a wave of militant attacks and explosions targeting security personnel and their premises have risen mainly in the restive Sinai peninsula. But recently, the attacks have crept into the capital Cairo and Nile delta cities.

A recent government report put the toll from attacks at nearly 500, most of them soldiers and policemen.

Thousands of Morsi’s supporters and members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, along with journalists and secular activists, have been arrested and imprisoned under long jail terms.

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