An Egyptian military court sentenced on Wednesday 13 defendants to death, including 12 in absentia, for involvement in a militant attack that killed at least 21 border guards in El-Farafra oasis in 2014.
The court sentenced the defendants after receiving non-binding approval for a preliminary death sentence from the country’s grand mufti, as per Egypt's penal code.
The court also dismissed the case against a juvenile defendant in the trial.
According to Egyptian law, those sentenced in absentia are to be retried upon arrest or after they turn themselves in.
The attack targeted a military checkpoint at El-Farafra in El-Wadi El-Gedid governorate near the border with Libya and was one of the deadliest by militants against security forces after the July 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
The attack was claimed by the North Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit El-Maqdis, which pledged allegiance to the Daesh militant group in 2014. Ansar Beit El-Maqdis has mostly focused its deadly attacks against security forces in North Sinai in the last four years.