Egypt court sentences 36 to death for church attacks


Forensics collect evidence at the site of a bomb blast which struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday at the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the Nile Delta City of Tanta, 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Cairo, 9 April , 2017.

CAIRO – A Cairo military court on Tuesday sentenced 36 people to death over their involvement in attacks against Coptic churches in Egypt, defence lawyers said.

According to the lawyers, 48 people have been put on trial in connection with attacks on Coptic churches in the cities of Cairo, Tanta and Alexandria between 2016 and 2017.

The attacks, claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, killed at least 80 people.

READ: Christians in shock after deadly attack on Coptic church

Copts, a Christian minority that makes up 10 percent of Egypt&39;s 96 million people, have been particularly targeted by IS.

The court&39;s verdict now has to be considered by Egypt&39;s Grand Mufti, as is required by law.

The opinion of Egypt&39;s highest religious authority is solicited whenever a death sentence is passed, but it is not legally binding.

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