Egyptian military court sentences 17 to death over church bombings: agency

Published:Thursday, October 11, 2018
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egyptian-military-court-sentences-17-to-death-over-church-bombings-agency

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian military court on Thursday sentenced 17 people to death for their involvement in bombing attacks on three churches and a police checkpoint in 2016 and 2017 that killed more than 80 people, state news agency MENA reported.

FILE PHOTO: A nun cries at the scene of the bombing inside Cairo's Coptic cathedral, December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

Nineteen others were handed life prison terms for the attacks, which hit churches in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta, MENA said.

The sentences are subject to appeal.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the Alexandria and Tanta bombings, both of which were suicide attacks on Palm Sunday in April 2017 that killed 45 people.

The group also took responsibility for a December 2016 attack on a chapel adjoining St Mark’s, Cairo’s main cathedral, that left 28 dead. The cathedral is the seat of Coptic Pope Tawadros II and its security is normally tight.

MENA said that some of the defendants were also suspected of carrying out an attack on a checkpoint in Egypt’s Western Desert that killed at least eight policemen last year.

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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