CAIRO – 14 October 2017: A military court in Alexandria adjourned the trial of 48 Muslim Brotherhood members over charges of bombing three churches until November 4, said Mohamed Hashim, the defendants' lawyer.
The decision was made to give the lawyers time to obtain information and hear the requests of the defendants.
The Public Prosecution referred the case to the military court in Alexandria to take over the case.
1. Photo of the defendants - file photo
The case includes 48 defendants charged with joining a banned organization, preventing state institutions from undertaking their role, terrorizing citizens, and harming national unity and social peace, along with other charges.
During the past period, several terrorist attacks targeted churches in Egypt and caused several human casualties. On May 26, an armed group opened fire on a bus carrying more than 50 Christians in Minya, killing 29 and injuring many others, including children.
2. Victims of Minya church attack - file photo
On April 9, which was Palm Sunday, the church celebrations turned into mourning when two terrorist attacks targeted Mar Girgis’ Church in Tanta and St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, killing and injuring dozens. Later, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the two incidents.
3. Victims of Tanta church attack coinciding with Palm Sunday
4. The funeral of the victims of Alexandria's Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral attack
Following the attacks, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi declared a state of emergency in Egypt for three months to hunt down terrorist elements.
Before Palm Sunday, about 29 people were killed on December 11, 2016 from a suicide bomb attack at Al Botroseya Church. In statements following the attack, President Sisi indentified the attacker as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa.
5. Funerals of the victims of the church bombing - file photo