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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Egypt prosecutor-general refers 11 to criminal court over 2017 terror attack on Helwan Church

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 1 Dec 2018
Nabil Sadek
File Photo: Egypt's public prosecutor Nabil Sadek (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt’s Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek referred on Saturday 11 individuals to criminal court for carrying out an attack on a church in south Cairo in December 2017, which killed nine Copts and a policeman ahead of Coptic Christian Christmas celebrations last year.

In an official statement, the prosecution charged the defendants with "establishing and leading a Takfiri group, funding its members, and killing nine Christians and a policeman, and the attempted murder of another."

Security forces shot dead one of the attackers in an exchange of fire outside the church of Mar Mina, while another assailant was arrested 

The charges listed by the prosecution also include resisting police by force and violence, as well as manufacturing and possessing an explosive device to be used to endanger people’s lives.

It also charged the defendants with seeking to join the terrorist group Daesh abroad to carry out terror acts in Egypt, as well as using websites to exchange messages and assignments to execute the terrorist activities.

The prosecution identified the leader of the group as Ibrahim Ismail Mostafa, currently in custody, as well as ten others.

The attack in December 2017 came nearly a week ahead of preparations by Copts, who make up 10-15 percent of Egypt's 104 million population, to celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

In the last several years, Coptic churches have been the target of several deadly terrorist attacks, which left tens dead and injured.

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