Egypt sentences to death suspect in Coptic priest's killing

AP News
Posted: Feb 12, 2018 6:09 AM

CAIRO (AP) — 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, Ahmed 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 the Islamic State group.

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