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Egyptian policeman sentenced to death for killing Christian father and son

People react during the funeral ceremony for the victims of the explosion at Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Abbasiya district, at Church of the Virgin Mary in Nasr City neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt on 12 December, 2016 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]
People react during the funeral ceremony for the victims of the explosion at Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Abbasiya district, at Church of the Virgin Mary in Nasr City neighbourhood of Cairo, Egypt on 12 December, 2016 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]

An Egyptian policeman found guilty of killing a Christian man and his son in a case that outraged the minority Coptic community was sentenced to death on Tuesday, judicial sources said.

Rabee Khalifa, posted as an armed police guard outside a church, killed construction workers Imad Kamal Sadeq, 49, and his 21-year-old son David after an argument, prosecutors said.

The incident, in December, angered Coptic Christians who were still reeling from an Islamist militant gun attack a month earlier that killed seven Copts.

OPINION: Egypt’s Coptic Christians face persecution at home and apathy abroad

The death sentence is subject to appeal.

Copts, who make up around 10 per cent of a largely Muslim population, have long complained of discrimination. They have frequently been attacked by Islamist militants who see them as infidels, prompting authorities to place armed guards outside churches and monasteries.

Hundreds turned up to the Sadeqs’ funeral in December where there were angry exchanges between the mourners and police.

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