Egypt condemns 17 to death for church attacks

An Egyptian military court on Thursday sentenced 17 people to death over a series of suicide bombings of churches claimed by the Islamic State group that left dozens dead.

Another 19 people were handed life prison terms and 10 were sentenced to between 10 and 15 years, judicial and security officials said.

Seventy-four people were killed in the attacks in 2016 and 2017 in Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta targeting Coptic Christians, who make up about 10% of Egypt's predominantly Sunni Muslim population.

Christian sites of worship across Egypt have been repeatedly targeted in attacks claimed by ISIS, prompting the authorities to impose a state of emergency.

The Egyptian army is waging a major operation focused on the Sinai Peninsula aimed at wiping out the jihadists.

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