A military court in Egypt has given death sentences to 17 people for their involvement in three deadly church bombings in 2016 and 2017.

Iran PressAfrica: Another 19 people were handed life sentences and 10 others were sentenced to between 10 and 15 years for their roles in the attacks, which hit churches in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta.

According to Egypt's state news agency MENA, the verdict can be appealed. Egyptian rights lawyer Khaled el-Masry said military prosecutors had accused the defendants of belonging to the Daesh group and plotting attacks against Christian churches and security forces.

Daesh militants claimed responsibility for the Alexandria and Tanta bombings in April 2017 that killed 45 people.

The group also took responsibility for the December 2016 attack on a chapel adjoining St Mark’s, Cairo’s main cathedral, that left 28 dead.

Christian places of worship across the Arab country, especially the Coptic churches in Cairo, have been repeatedly targeted in attacks claimed by Daesh, prompting authorities to impose a state of emergency.


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