Egypt: 17 people given death sentence for church attacks

Cairo: A military court in Egypt awarded death sentence to 17 people over their involvement in three church suicide bombings in 2016 and 2017 that claimed 80 lives.

The court also sentenced 19 others to life imprisonment in connection with the attacks.

The dreaded Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings of two Coptic Christian churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria in April last year, which killed 45 people.

In December 2016, 25 people died in an attack at a church in Cairo. The responsibility for that attack was also claimed by the ISIS, CNN reported.

Ever since former Egyptian president and long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak was deposed in 2011, there has been a rise in persecution and discrimination against Coptic Christians.

The minority community makes up 10 per cent of Egypt’s total population.