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Egyptian man sentenced to death for attack on Christians

Sunday January 16, 2011 06:56:00 PM, DPA

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Cairo: An Egyptian court sentenced a man to death Sunday for a drive-by shooting of Christians in the southern city of Naga Hammadi last year which left seven people dead.

Mohamed Hassan, the primary defendant in the case, was sentenced by a State Security Emergency Criminal court in the southern province of Qena.

The death sentence will be sent to Egypt's grand mufti, an Islamic religious authority, for approval.

The sentence will be confirmed by the court Feb 20, when it will also hand out the sentences of the other two defendants in the case, Qurshi Abulhagag and Hendawy Mohamed Hassan.

Mohamed Hassan is charged with opening fire on a group of people as they were leaving a Christmas mass in Naga Hammadi Jan 6, 2010, the night of Coptic Christmas eve.

The attack left six Christian teenagers and a Muslim security official dead.

The trial began Feb 13 and was postponed numerous times throughout the year, angering the Christian community which was demanding a conviction.

Official figures estimate Christians comprise between 10 and 15 percent of Egypt's population.

Tensions have been high in the country since a New Year's Eve bombing at a church in the coastal city of Alexandria left 23 people dead and over 100 injured.

 

 

 

 

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