Libyan court sentences 23 suspected Islamic State militants to death


Cairo (AP) — A Libyan court Monday sentenced 23 suspected Islamic State group militants to death for launching deadly attacks that killed dozens of people, including Egyptian Coptic Christians.

The appeals court in the western city of Misrata also sentenced 14 other militants to life in prison who were convicted on the same charges, which include destruction of police facilities and public property.

The court sentenced nine defendants to between three and 12 years in prison. It acquitted five suspects.

The court did not elaborate further details.

The Islamic State and other extremist groups exploited the chaos that engulfed Libya after the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi. They seized the coastal city of Sirte, Gadhafi’s birthplace, and other cities including Derna in eastern Libya.

The militants were eventually expelled from Sirte in December 2016 by forces fighting for the former U.N.-backed Government of National Accord. Forces of east-based commander Khalifa Hifter reclaimed Derna two years later.

Hundreds of alleged former Islamic State fighters remain incarcerated in Libyan prisons, many of whom are awaiting trial.

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