Egypt: 20 bag 10 years jail term over church burning

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President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt

An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced 20 people to 10 years in prison for burning a church, official news agency MENA reported.

The convicted were also accused of illegal gathering, violence, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed weapons.

Investigations show they broke into the church, threw Molotov cocktails inside and prevented people from putting out the fire.

The incident came after a government crackdown over two major sit-ins of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in August 2013.

After the army-led removal of Morsi in response to mass protests against his one-year rule, violence started to spread nationwide.

Thousands of group loyalists of Morsi and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were detained, with some convicted of death over murder and terror activities.

Terrorism prevailed in Egypt since the military ousted Morsi in early July 2013 in response to mass protests against his 12-month reign and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Terrorist attacks killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in restive North Sinai province before they gradually extended to other provinces and started to target dozens of the Coptic minority with church bombings.

Most of the attacks were claimed by the so-called Wilayat Sinai (Sinai State or Province), a Sinai-based group affiliated with the Islamic State group. (Xingua/NAN)


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