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Egypt sentences 17 to death over 2017 church bombings

Security forces inspect the scene after an armed attack by unknown assailants to Marminna Church in Cairo’s southern Helwan district in Cairo, Egypt on December 29, 2017 [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]
Security forces inspect the scene after an armed attack by unknown assailants to Marminna Church in Cairo’s southern Helwan district in Cairo, Egypt on December 29, 2017 [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]

An Egyptian military court today sentenced 17 people to death for their involvement in bombing churches in 2016 and 2017, state news agency MENA reported.

MENA also said that 19 other people were handed life prison terms for the attacks which struck churches in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta.

Nearly 100 people were killed in the blasts which struck the Christian community just before Christmas and on Palm Sunday.

Parliament voted to approve a state of emergency following the Tanta attack, this has been renewed on numerous occasions since. Critics have said the government has used the state of emergency laws to quash dissent and crackdown on opposition groups and figures.

Read: EU raises concern over death sentences in Egypt

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