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Egyptian flag iStock

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging 22 Islamists for 54 attacks including the attempted assassination of a former interior minister, a judicial source told AFP.

The men were found guilty of committing 54 "terrorist operations" across Egypt, including the murder of a senior police officer as well as trying to kill former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim.

Those sentenced to death include a former police officer, and the verdicts cannot be appealed.

The 22 convicted were found guilty of being members of the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, which pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014, and then renamed itself Sinai Province.

Sinai Province has claimed most of the terrorist attacks that have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula since 2013.

The Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest appeals court, also upheld prison sentences of 118 others in the same case, ranging from terms of several years to life imprisonment, according to AFP.

The insurgency in Sinai escalated after the army's 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

In February of 2018, Egypt launched operation “Sinai 2018” in an effort to rid the Sinai Peninsula of Islamic terrorists.

Since then, around 1,073 suspected jihadists and dozens of security personnel.

Egypt had been under a state of emergency first declared by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in April of 2017, following two deadly bombings on Coptic churches.

The state of emergency, which had since been extended several times at three-month intervals, was lifted in late October.

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