Egypt court sentences two defendants to death over 2017 church attack

El Sayed Gamal El-Din, Tuesday 16 Apr 2019

Helwan Churh
A still image from video showing the militant attack on Saint Menas and Pope Cyril church on 29 December 2017

A Cairo criminal court sentenced on Tuesday two defendants to death over a 2017 terrorist attack against the Saint Menas and Pope Cyril IV church in Helwan, which killed nine Christian civilians and one policeman.

The court has referred the sentence to the country’s grand mufti for his non-binding opinion, as required by Egyptian law, pending a final verdict.

The court has set 12 May to issue sentences on all 11 defendants in the case.

The defendants in the case were referred to court on charges of forming, operating, joining and financing a takfiri group, murder, attempted murder, and forceful resistance of policemen. 

The Arabic word "takfiri" refers to hardline Sunni Muslims who accuse other Muslims and followers of other religions of being infidels, often as a justification for using violence against them.

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