Egyptian Coptic Christians attend mass on May 16, 2014 in Cairo
Egyptian Coptic Christians attend mass on May 16, 2014 in Cairo © Virginie Nguyen Hoang - AFP/File
Egyptian Coptic Christians attend mass on May 16, 2014 in Cairo
AFP
Last updated: June 16, 2014

Egypt jails killers of Coptic Christians

A court in Egypt Sunday jailed three people for life and two to seven years for creating a "terrorist" group and killing four Copts in 2010, a judicial official said.

Another was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison, while a further 19 defendants were acquitted, the same source said.

They were accused of "forming an illegal group and using terrorist methods to target the police, foreign tourists and the Copts".

The four Coptic Christians -- who comprise up to 10 percent of Egypt's mainly Muslim population -- were killed in January 2010 in an attack on a jewellery shop in an eastern suburb of Cairo.

Several more people were injured in the attack.

The Copts are the Middle East's largest religious minority, and have long suffered sectarian violence including attacks on churches.

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