(By Estera Popowska)
Just hours after an Egyptian court sentenced former president Mohamed Morsi to death for his role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising, gunmen reportedly killed two Egyptian judges and a prosecutor Saturday in the Sinai Peninsula, sources quoting AFP said Sunday.
According to reports quoting local officials, the incident happened where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency spearheaded by an Islamic State group affiliate. Uganda’s New Vision quoted Egypt’s the health ministry as saying the shooting in North Sinai's provincial capital El-Arish also killed the officials' driver and wounded another prosecutor.
Police initially said three judges were killed in the attack that came hours after a court in Cairo sentenced ousted president Mohamed Morsi to death for his role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
Some of Morsi's fellow defendants included jihadists in Sinai, where militants often attack members of the security forces. Police said the officials came under attack while being driven to a court hearing in El-Arish.
Health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told AFP four people were killed. "Two judges, a prosecutor and the driver of the car were killed, while another prosecutor was wounded," he said.
Following the attack, the first of its kind in Sinai, the interior ministry put police on high alert across the country and suspended all leave, a ministry official said. The justice ministry also decided to move, starting on Sunday, some court hearings in El-Arish to Ismailiya "to protect the judges", a ministry official said.