Egyptian authorities hanged 15 men on Tuesday for an attack in the Sinai Peninsula in 2013, the start of an Islamic insurgency that the military-dominated government has been battling ever since, says the New York Times. The hangings, reported by state media, were the biggest mass execution in Egypt since six convicted jihadists were hanged in 2015. A military court found the men guilty on terrorism charges last month for an attack on a military checkpoint in which one army officer and eight soldiers were killed.
That assault came amid a surge of violence that swept across Egypt after security forces forcibly broke up two Islamist sit-ins in Cairo, killing over 800 people. The military had seized power six weeks earlier, overthrowing a democratically elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The executions on Tuesday raise the number of people put to death since the military took over to 23. Rights activists and Islamists said they feared the latest executions would drive more young Egyptians into the arms of the Islamic State.