Egyptian military court sentences 17 to death over 2017 church bombings

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The aftermath of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 17 Islamists to death over accusations of bombing three churches in Egypt, which left 82 Copts killed, official news agency MENA reported.

The aftermath of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Other 19 persons received life sentences (25 years in Egypt) and 15 were handed eight years in jail over the same charges.

In April 2017, twin suicide bombings took place at St. George’s Church in the city of Tanat and Saint Mark’s Coptic orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, leaving 45 people killed and 126 injured.

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

Another attack took place in the Capital St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, killing 37, in 2016.

The defendants were also convicted of attempted murder of 14 policemen in Cairo nearby security check point.

At least 166 persons were wounded in the three attacks.

Since the ouster of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by the army in response to mass protests against his rule, Egypt has been facing waves of anti-security terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of security men.

Some of the attacks also have targeted civilians and churches in recent years.

Most of the attacks were claimed by Islamic State branch in Egypt, mainly centered in North Sinai.

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