CAIRO, June 18 (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced 12 alleged supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi to death over killing a police major general last year, state-run Nile TV reported.
The case dated back to September 19 when some 23 persons showered Nabil Farag, assistant to chief of Giza Security Headquarters in Kerdasa district, with bullets during a police raid on an Islamist hideout, leaving nine other policemen injured.
The defendants were also charged with forming a terrorist group, assaulting police premises and targeting the churches and public buildings, in addition to disturbing public order. Eight of defendants are in custody, however, four remain on the run.
After the court ruling was issued, it was then referred to the office of the Grand Mufti for review. The final verdict will be issued on August 8.
Since the ouster of Morsi, the country's first freely-elected president, in July last year, 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 Delta cities.
A recent government report put the death toll from militant attacks at nearly 500. Most of the victims were 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.