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36 defendants sentenced to death for church bombings

Tue, Apr. 10, 2018
CAIRO – 10 April 2018: Thirty-six out of 48 defendants convicted of bombing Cairo’s Botroseya Church, Alexandria’s St. Mark’s Cathedral and Tanta’s Mar Girgis Church, and attacking the al-Naqab checkpoint, have been sentenced to death.

An Egyptian military court sentenced Muhab Moustafa and Waleed Abul Magd to death for taking part in the bombing of Botroseya Church in Abbasiya during Sunday mass on December 11, 2016, which killed 30 people and injured dozens others.

The bombing of the chapel, which is adjacent to Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo, was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

In statements following the attack, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi indentified the attacker as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq, who had worn a suicide vest. IS claimed responsibility for the attack.

The court also convicted Abul Magd, Amr Saad, Mostafa Omar, Mostafa Abdo, Hamed Weida and Hamada Gomaa for attacking the al-Naqab checkpoint about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from el-Kharga city.

On January 16, 2017, 13 terrorists, divided into four groups, arrived at the checkpoint in four-wheel-drive cars carrying heavy machine guns, explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the investigations. Eight policemen including an officer were killed.

The court also convicted two defendants of bombing St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria.

On Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, twin suicide bombings took place at Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the principal church in Alexandria and seat of the Coptic papacy.

IS also claimed responsibility for the attack, which took the lives of 44 individuals and injured more than 100, Reuters reported.

Additional reporting by Nawal Sayed
 
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