Egypt court sentences 17 to death over church attacks

Map showing Libya and Egypt
Map showing Libya and Egypt. [Photo credit: US Army Center Of Military History Egypt-Libya - 1942 (map)]

An Egyptian military court on Thursday sentenced 17 people to death for their involvement in the bombing attacks on three Coptic churches in 2016 and 2017 that killed dozens in the country.

According to state media, another 19 defendants in the same case were sentenced to life imprisonment, which is equal to 25 years in prison under Egyptian law.

The court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria also handed down jail terms ranging between 10 years and 15 years to 10 co-defendants.

All the rulings can be appealed.

All the defendants were also charged with having links to the Islamic State extremist militia that claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In April 2017, 46 people were killed in two suicide bombings targeting two Coptic churches in Alexandria and the Nile Delta city Tanta on Palm Sunday.

In December 2016, no fewer than 28 people were killed in a suicide attack at a chapel adjoining Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral.

The bombings prompted Egypt to declare a nationwide state of emergency for three months.

Christians account for around 10 per cent of Egypt’s mostly Muslim population of nearly 100 million.


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