Middle East

Egypt sentences to death suspect in Coptic priest's killing

Egyptians walk past a beggar near a mural for upcoming presidential elections, in Cairo, Egypt February 8, 2018. The mural reads: "Our voice with you." REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has convicted a suspect for killing a Coptic priest in a poor Cairo district last year and sentenced him to death.

The Cairo Criminal Court said the defendant, Ahmad Saeed, attacked the 40-year-old cleric, Samaan Shehata, with a knife in the city of al-Salam, northeast of Cairo in October. Another priest was wounded in the attack.

Monday's verdict can be appealed.

Attacks on Egypt's Christians, who account for about 10 percent of the country's predominantly Muslim population of nearly 95 million, have surged recently with a series of suicide bombings claimed by Daesh (ISIS).

In April, twin suicide bombings, also claimed by Daesh, struck two Coptic churches, killing at least 47 people. The Palm Sunday bombings prompted Egypt to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

 

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